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1st March 2012

Freeze beer duty – industry and consumer groups unite to urge MPs to support new motion in Parliament

With the March Budget looming, industry and consumer groups have warmly welcomed the tabling of a motion in Parliament (Early Day Motion 2785) calling for a rethink on new huge hikes in beer tax. The EDM, tabled yesterday by the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group Andrew Griffiths MP, who represents the brewing town of Burton, already has the support of MPs from the three main parties, including Greg Mulholland MP, Chairman of the All Party Save the Pub Group.

The move follows an influential new report last week by Oxford Economics commissioned by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), which revealed that 300,000 16-24 year olds depend on the sector for employment. The BBPA, CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and SIBA (Society of Independent brewers) say that with so many young people employed in the hospitality sector, pubs could be an engine for growth and create new jobs for young people – provided the Government calls time on job-destroying beer tax rises in the Budget.

Beer Tax hikes are now set to reach an astonishing 42 per cent since the Budget of March 2008, when the discredited ‘escalator’ policy was introduced by the previous government. Set at two per cent above inflation, this year’s tax hike could be over five per cent, putting up to ten pence on a pub pint.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive comments: “I hope MPs will support this motion, as there is real concern about the impact of huge tax rises on beer and pubs. Beer is Britain’s favourite pub drink – a UK product that creates jobs and keeps thousands of pubs in business. If we get a tax freeze in the Budget, we could create and protect 16,000 jobs in the next three years alone.”

Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive comments:“CAMRA are uniting with the BBPA and SIBA to highlight the harm to valued community pubs caused by punitive high levels of taxation on beer. A freeze in beer duty would help protect the future of pubs and ensure pub going remains an affordable social activity for all. CAMRA’s 135,000 members are today contacting their local MPs asking them to send a clear message to the Chancellor that enough is enough. Supporters of our campaign can contact their own MP by going to:


Julian Grocock, Chief Executive of SIBA comments: “Our plea is for MPs to support this motion for a policy change, to re-invest in Great British beer and pubs so they can recover their vital role in the social life of the communities that make up this country. Only thus will we be able to re-assert the values of a responsible drinking culture; and only thus will these proud and iconic industries remain strong enough to fulfil their commitment to making a fair and sustainable contribution to the national economy.”



For further information please contact:

David Wilson: BBPA Public Affairs Director Tel: 020 7627 9151

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

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

Camra, call press office: 01727 798443

Julian Grocock, Chief Executive SIBA: 01949 869458, 07702 201582,

Keith Bott, Chairman SIBA: 07831 235768,


Notes to editors:


Text of EDM 2785:

That this House notes that beer and pubs contribute 21 billion to UK GDP and supports almost one million jobs, almost half of them for 16 to 24 year olds; acknowledges that brewing is one of British manufacturing’s success stories; believes that 2012, as a year of national celebrations, is the perfect time to recognise the economic and social value of great British beer and the pub industry; and so urges the Government to listen to consumer and industry groups, including the British Beer and Pub Association, the Society of Independent Brewers and the Campaign for Real Ale, who have united to call on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to support Britain’s beer and pub sector by suspending the beer duty escalator to help reduce pub closures, create 5,000 additional jobs and ensure pub going remains an affordable leisure activity.


Contact your own MP via CAMRA here:

The beer story – facts on tap, a summary outlining the case for a freeze in duty published jointly by the BBPA, SIBA and CAMRA, is available on the BBPA website here.


The report from Oxford Economics: Local impact of the beer and pub sector 2010/2011 is on the BBPA website here. The research reveals that:

  • 950,000 British jobs depend on the UK beer and pub sector – 34,000 fewer than last year
  • There are now 900 breweries in the UK – a vital part of Britain’s manufacturing mix
  • £13 billion is paid in wages in the sector
  • Brewing and pubs are worth £19.4 billion to the UK economy (Gross Value added)
  • The beer and pub sector contributes over £11 billion in tax revenues

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