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18th March 2013

BBPA comments on beer duty escalator reports

The BBPA has responded to reports [in the Metro newspaper] that the Government will seek to blame the previous administration for any rise in beer duty in the Budget on Wednesday:

Brigid Simmonds comments, BBPA Chief Executive, said: “It would be astonishing if the Coalition Government felt it could continue to blame the previous Government for the hugely damaging policy of huge Beer Tax rises, every year.

“This would be the third time this Government has raised the duty on beer well above inflation – something they could have stopped at any time.

“If the Chancellor goes ahead with another large increase on Wednesday, he will have raised beer duty by 18 per cent since he took office.  Combined with the rise in VAT, this will have added around 25 pence to the price of a pub pint.


“Annual tax rises on this scale are totally unsustainable, if we are to protect and create employment in a sector on which one million jobs depend.


“Beer tax rises have been so extreme, that a tax freeze wouldn’t even cost the Treasury any revenue. With more buoyant beer sales, and the protection of 5,000 jobs, mostly in pubs, the measure would pay for itself.   With 45 per cent of those working in pubs under the age of 25, there is so much scope for us to create more jobs, too.


“Times have changed dramatically since the beer duty escalator was introduced. It is time for a rethink.”



For further information contact:

David Wilson: Public Affairs Director Tel: 020 7627 9151

Neil Williams, Head of Media Tel: (020) 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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