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19th March 2015

Beer duty – brewers, consumers and pubs toast “Hat-trick Hero” Chancellor

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, comments on 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.



SIBA welcomes beer duty ‘hat trick’

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.


CAMRA applauds beer duty hat-trick as tax on a pint falls for a third time

Tim Page, CAMRA Chief Executive

“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.

“Britain is known around the world for great pubs and real ale, and we should all be incredibly proud that this industry has just reported growth for the first time in a decade. We hope Britain’s millions of pub goers will head to their local this evening to give three cheers to a historic third cut in beer tax!”

Budget booze: Always look on the bright cider life, there’s nothing to be bitter about
Commenting on the Chancellor’s alcohol duty measures in today’s Budget, Daniel Lyons, indirect tax partner at Deloitte, said:
“The Chancellor’s “one penny off a pint of beer” and 2 per cent less duty on cider and whisky will, no doubt, be welcomed by most drinkers.
“However, the question will be asked if this will really help Britain’s pubs and craft brewers, whose products for the first time are to be included in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket.
“It might not be the extra support that British brewers and pubs wished for. Looking at the pint of British produced craft beer I bought in a pub in Bath last night for £3.40 (OK, two pints of beer for £6.80), I would save 2 pence. Yet the saving on 2 multipack cans of bitter (or non-British produced lager) from my local supermarket (costing £1.60) would also be 2 pence. Therefore the saving on the latter is proportionately greater.”
Cider Reaction – Martin Thatcher, Chair of the National Association of Cider Makers (NACM) said:

“We are delighted that the Chancellor has decided to support the British cider industry by cutting duty in his Budget Statement. This is a very welcome decision and proves the Government understands the huge importance of our industry to rural communities.

“This important decision will be celebrated by cider makers up and down the country as it protects the investment they have made over many years to grow the industry and support thousands of jobs.

We and all cider drinkers will be raising a glass of delicious cider to the Chancellor this evening.”

Scotch Whisky industry toasts historic spirits duty cut of 2%
-Budget boost for consumers and a vital UK industry-
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has hailed the Coalition Government’s decision to cut excise duty on spirits by 2% in today’s Budget as historic. It said it is a move that is both fair to consumers and a significant boost to a home-grown industry.
George Osborne’s announcement marks the first cut in spirits duty in almost twenty years and is only the fourth time that excise on whisky has fallen in a century.
The Chancellor’s landmark decision to reduce duty by 2% a bottle was widely welcomed across the whisky industry and would, the SWA added, be cheered by consumers. The Chancellor’s recognition of Scotch Whisky as one of the UK’s biggest exports has also been welcomed.
Building on last year’s duty freeze, the announcement was described as a show of support for a major UK industry and its supply chain, which is responsible for more than 40,000 jobs.  It will benefit the wider hospitality industry and help underpin investment across the sector which, in turn, will boost public finances.
As a result of the 2% cut in excise, the duty burden on a 70cl bottle of Scotch at the average price of £12.90 has been reduced by 16 pence from £7.90 to £7.74. The total tax burden, including VAT, now stands at £9.89, or 77% of the average price of a bottle of Scotch, down from 78%.
David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “This is a historic decision and only the fourth time whisky duty has been cut in a century.
“The Chancellor’s announcement will be toasted across the whisky industry and by consumers who are getting a fairer deal on tax when they have a drink of Scotch. The move is a major boost to our industry as we look to grow again in the UK, and equally sends out an important signal on fair taxation to our export markets.
“The industry is raising a glass to George Osborne and his Treasury team, as well as to all those who have supported our campaign over the last two decades.”