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23rd May 2022

Brewing and pub trade body calls for introduction of Online Sales Tax

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today called for the introduction of an Online Sales Tax to level the playing field, in response to a Government consultation.

In its submission to the consultation, the BBPA highlights how the current system overtaxes pubs, that the brewing industry is the highest taxed business sector in the UK, and how an Online Sales Tax would help to make the taxation system fairer and ease the current burden Britain’s brewers and pubs face.  It also sets out why an OST is crucial for the regeneration of high streets and local communities.

However , the BBPA highlight that any new tax must be ringfenced and not “become simply another revenue source”, but instead be created, and contained, for the purposes of bringing down the overall costs of business rates for the sector. They call for Government to ensure the sector is no worse off through an addition of a new tax.

Running from the end of February until today, the Government consultation has sought views from across all sectors on the possible introduction of an Online Sales Tax to rebalance the taxation of the retail sector amidst the continued rise of online retail.

Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association Emma McClarkin said:

“Our current taxation system is not working for breweries and pubs. We are overtaxed and paying higher business rates than most other sectors, whilst online retailers reap the benefits of low taxation and a booming trade.

“If the Government wants to support pubs – the jobs they support and the role they play in their communities – they must do more to rebalance the taxation system, so pubs and breweries aren’t subsidising the digital economy’s fair share of tax.”

For more information about the consultation visit:


Notes to editors:    

About the British Beer & Pub Association

The BBPA represents companies in the UK which between them brew over 90% of the beer sold in the UK and own 20,000 pubs. Our members include international companies, family brewers, managed locals, and the nation’s largest tenanted pub estates.

  • 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


Press release from BBPA

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Jessie Powell at / 07772245620