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24th September 2012

100,000 Britons back call for freeze in Beer Tax, forcing Parliamentary debate

Beer drinkers incensed at excessive tax hikes on the nation’s favourite pub drink are now set to force a debate in Parliament – as of today, over 100,000 have now signed an on-line petition on the issue. Campaigners say it’s a wake-up call for the Government and its damaging tax policy on Britain’s beer and pubs.

Beer Duty has risen by an astonishing 42 per cent since March 2008, when the controversial beer duty escalator was introduced – and 6,000 pubs have closed.  A typical British pub in now burdened with £66,500 of duty and VAT on beer every year – a huge drag on pub businesses.

Research by Oxford Economics for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) shows the policy is costing 5,000 jobs – this year alone. With no significant rise in tax revenues, the policy also makes no economic sense, says the BBPA – the paltry, £35 million extra duty collected by the Treasury this year, is wiped out by the loss of revenue through job losses, lost VAT and other taxes and the added cost to Britain’s hard-pressed beer drinkers, pubs and brewers.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:

“Thanks to the huge numbers who are supporting the campaign, this should be a real wake-up call for the Government.  I hope even more people will now sign, as further huge annual tax hikes must not go ahead. They are hurting pubs and destroying our ability to create much needed jobs.”



For further information please contact:


David Wilson, Director of Public Affairs: 020 7627 9151

Neil Williams, Communications Manager Tel: (020) 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

Gareth Barrett, Public Affairs Officer Tel: (020) 7627 9154



Notes to editors:

To sign the e-petition, go to or search for ‘Stop the Beer Duty Escalator’.


The e-petition was launched by the Hobgoblin brand in February and is actively supported by many other brewing and pub companies, and  CAMRA, the BBPA and SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) with huge support from Britain’s beer drinkers.


Beer Tax – more key figures:


Beer tax (Duty plus VAT) per pub: £66,500

Average price of a pub pint of beer: £3.17

Duty on a 5 per cent pint of beer: 55p

Beer duty increase since March 2008: 42 per cent

British Beer Tax, times higher than France: 9

British Beer Tax, times higher than Germany: 13


The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and own half of Britain’s 51,000 pubs.


Data above is based on the average annual pub sales of 210 brewers’ barrels per year (1,163 pints per week) and an average price of £3.17 per pint.



Neil Williams

Communications Manager

British Beer & Pub Association

020 7627 9156

07974 249 779