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7th March 2024

Beer and Pub Sector React To The Budget

Reacting to Jeremy Hunt’s announcement that beer duty will be frozen until February 2025 at today’s Budget, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

“It is good news that the Chancellor was able to extend the freeze to beer duty at this Budget and will be welcomed by brewers, pubs and consumers alike and will go some way to keep the price of a pint affordable. 

“However, this April brewers and pubs still face a £450 million cliff edge of spiralling wage costs and business rates increases, particularly those pubs that are larger or food-led.  It is disappointing that the Chancellor did not choose to go further with a cut duty, reduce VAT or cap the increase to the business rates multiplier which would have helped mitigate the huge cost of doing business.  Pressures on our sector remain acute with margins being squeezed to the point where we fear it is likely that a further 500-600 pubs are likely to close this year on top of the 530 that closed in 2023.  No government should turn a blind eye to the erosion of such an integral economic, social and cultural asset and it is vital that at the election the political parties commit to putting in place a fiscal and policy framework that will see our sector thrive for the long term and not continue to deteriorate.

“We very much hope that the decision to cut National Insurance contributions for all workers by 2p in the pound will boost consumer spending power and encourage people to enjoy an extra pint in their local, but I urge the Government to look again at the urgent measures needed to make the cost to doing business more affordable at the next fiscal event and through policy commitments made in the run up to the election to truly back the British Pub.”

A HEINEKEN spokesperson said:

“We welcome the freezing of alcohol duties until February 2025. This freeze will help bring out the best in the great British Pub. Licensees across the UK now need further help to thrive, in the form of long-term, fundamental reform to the business rates system which despite recent support still sees UK pubs overpaying by £400m.”


For more information or to arrange an interview contact Laurence Gill at / call 020 7627 9199 / text or WhatsApp +447545 377 041

About the British Beer & Pub Association
The BBPA represents UK companies which between them brew over 90% of the beer sold in the UK and own 20,000 pubs.

Our members include international companies, national and local brewers and pub businesses operating managed and tenanted pubs in cities, towns and villages across the country.

These businesses are at the heart of communities and local economies and include family businesses who have been brewing beer and running pubs for hundreds of years alongside emerging brewers and pub operators.

  • The UK’s beer and pub industry supports close to 940,000 jobs
  • The industry adds £26.2billion to the UK’s economy each year


For more information or to arrange an interview contact Laurence Gill at / call 020 7627 9199 / text or WhatsApp +447545 377 041

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