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Chancellor cuts beer tax for third time

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association has applauded the penny cut in beer duty just announced in the Budget:


“The Chancellor really is a ‘Hat Trick Hero’. His third, successive beer tax cut shows he has listened to consumers, publicans and brewers. Beer tax is now ten pence lower than it would have been under the beer duty escalator, which he abolished. It will boost employment by 3,800 this year alone and attract new capital investment. It will put 180 million pounds in the pockets of beer drinkers and pubgoers.  That is a huge difference.

“Cutting beer duty supports a great British Industry which contributes £22 billion to GDP and supports almost 900,000 jobs.  It’s also a boost for pubs, as beer accounts for seven out every ten alcohol drinks sold in our pubs. The renewed confidence in our sector is reflected in rising beer sales in 2014, for the first time in a decade. There is of course more work to de done, and we look forward to persuading  MPs in the next Parliament that further action is needed to encourage consumers towards our lower-strength, British-made national drink.” George Osborne is pictured with Brigid Simmonds and Andew Griffiths MP

Mike Benner, managing director at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) said, “This is a great day for British independent brewers, pubs and consumers.

We applaud the Chancellor’s decision to support British beer with this historic third cut in beer duty.  It continues the momentum of the cuts in 2013 and 2014 and will boost growth, employment and investment in the independent brewing sector.”

“In SIBA’s Budget 2015 submission, we showed the positive impact of the first two cuts on our member brewers, who have invested the ‘penny off the pint’ in their businesses. The Government can be confident that this third concession will be put to the same good use by Britain’s independent brewers, bringing jobs and investment to hundreds of local economies around the country.”

According to preliminary findings from SIBA’s British Beer 2015 report, published tomorrow (19 March), production by SIBA brewers has risen by around 25% since the abolition of the Beer Duty Escalator in March 2013 and an estimated 1,600 jobs were created during 2013 and 2014, many of them in rural and deprived areas.

The two duty cuts and end of the escalator have reduced the average price of a pint of beer by 16p and saved over 1,000 pubs from closure. At the same time, Government revenues from beer duty were up by1.5% in the year ending June 2014.

The beer drinkers were also impressed and Tim Page, CAMRA Chief Executive said “CAMRA is delighted with today’s hat-trick of an unprecedented third consecutive cut in beer tax, with another penny of a pint, which will be welcomed by millions of beer-drinkers across the country. The last two cuts have already had a huge impact, saving over 1,000 pubs from closure and keeping the price of a pub pint down.  Independent research by CEBR forecasts that the price of a pub pint will now be more than 20p cheaper than it would have been had the beer duty escalator remained in place.

“A third cut in beer tax is a huge vote of confidence in the importance of pubs and brewing. It will help ensure the sector returns to long term growth after many years of pub closures and falling beer sales, caused in part by a 42% beer tax increase between 2008 and 2012, and throw a lifeline to struggling community pubs across the country.”