CAMRA is calling on the Government to protect the beer and pub sector by maintaining a freeze in beer duty in the upcoming Autumn Statement and consider an additional cut in next year’s Budget.
CAMRA is concerned the effects of the beer duty escalator from 2008-2013, which led to thousands of pub closures and job losses, continue to be felt across the sector – particularly during these uncertain economic times. With pub closures currently at 21 per week and off-trade sales of beer overtaking on-trade sales for the first time in 2015, further measures are needed to support the UK pub and beer sector.
Colin Valentine, CAMRA National Chairman says: “UK pubs and breweries are facing a great deal of uncertainty in these times of economic uncertainty . Pubs in particular are facing significant cost burdens, including business rates, pension auto enrolment and increases to the national living wage. Coupled with UK beer drinkers paying significantly higher duty on their pint than other leading beer drinking nations, at 52.2p on the pint, we are seeing a significant shift from people drinking in pubs to people drinking at home.”
“Pubs provide a safe, social environment to consume alcohol and in many cases act as the hub to the local community. They can have a huge impact on a person’s well-being and can help individuals make friends and build networks. Their continued existence, and the valued role that they play in society, should remain a priority for this Government.”
CAMRA is also calling for a fairer deal for pubs on business rates.