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30th December 2013

MPs’ call for beer duty freeze welcomed by BBPA

  ·         EDM 892 tabled by Andrew Griffiths MP, with cross party support


·         New EU study reveals Britons pay 43 per cent of ALL EU beer duties


·         Case is now clear for a beer duty freeze, says Brigid Simmonds




Britain’s brewing and pub industry has welcomed renewed calls from MPs for a freeze in beer duty in the 2014 Budget. This comes as a new Early Day Motion (EDM 892) from Andrew Griffiths MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, has been tabled in Parliament and new research has revealed that UK beer drinkers are paying a massive 43 per cent of all the beer duty collected in the European Union – despite consuming just 12 per cent of the beer.




The EDM calls for the Government to sustain the momentum created by the historic, March 2013 duty cut and removal of the duty escalator last year, by freezing beer duty in the 2014 Budget in order to secure over 2,000 jobs in pubs up and down the country.




Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, comments:




“I hope MPs will again support the overwhelming case for a freeze in beer duty in March.




“The 2013 duty cut was a hugely popular first step, which has given the industry confidence, and had a real impact on brewing and pub investment, protecting and creating jobs all over the country.




“But it will take many years to undo the impact of the 42 per cent hike in beer duty we endured from 2008-2012.




“Huge thanks are also due to Andrew Griffiths MP, and all other MPs who continue to support this great British industry.”




The duty freeze EDM comes as research is published revealing that the UK contributes 43 per cent of total amount of duty paid on beer sales in Europe, whilst only accounting for 13 per cent of the total consumption of beer. This comes from a new study, conducted by Regioplan Policy Research and EY and commissioned by the Brewers of Europe, which outlines the economic impact of the brewing sector in 31 European countries.




As well as showing the extent of the UK beer tax burden the EY report also shows that after Germany, the British brewing industry generates the most jobs in the EU. In 2012, beer in Britain generated more than 32,700 jobs in the supply sectors, more than 260,000 jobs in hospitality sector and around 11,500 jobs in the retail sector. In total, the employment impact of the production and sale of beer was some 321,900 jobs – one in six of all jobs created in Europe from beer and brewing.




The report also highlights how the UK plays a very significant role in the European brewing supply chain. To take just one example, the UK has now emerged as the largest can producer in Europe, with 50 per cent of these cans being used by the brewing industry. In terms of the key ingredient in beer, malting barley, one-sixth of the entire malting barley crop in Europe, is grown here in the UK.




Brigid Simmonds OBE, BBPA Chief Executive, adds:




“This valuable new report highlights the huge importance of brewing to the European economy. The brewing industry provides two million vital jobs and Britain has a fundamental role in creating these opportunities.




“The report very clearly highlights the disproportionate tax burden paid by Britain’s beer drinkers and pubgoers. It underlines why the Chancellor was right to act in last year’s Budget and why a further freeze in beer duty is now needed.”






For further information and requests for interviews with Brigid Simmonds, please contact:




Neil Williams, Head of Media, 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779


Sophie McIntyre, Communications and Campaigns Officer Tel: 020 7627 9155




Notes to editors:




EY Report:



British chapter:




Beer duty and beer consumption in EU:


%  EU duty     % EU beer consumption


United Kingdom         42.6%              12.2%


Poland                         8.8%                10.8%


Germany                     6.9%                24.4%


Finland                        5.9%                1.2%


Italy                             4.3%                5.0%


Netherlands                 3.9%                3.4%


Sweden                       3.8%                1.3%


Spain                           3.1%                9.9%


Ireland                         3.1%                1.3%


France                         3.1%                5.7%


Other EU countries     14.5%              24.6%






EDM 892 text:


That this House welcomes the ending of the beer duty escalator and the impact of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s historic beer duty cut in the 2013 Budget, the first such cut since 1959, in supporting the growth of Britain’s breweries and underpinning confidence in the UK’s pubs; and urges the Government to sustain this momentum by considering the case for a further freeze in beer duty in the 2014 Budget which would secure over 2,000 jobs in pubs up and down the land and help reduce the cost of living for hard-working men and women.




The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector.  Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and around half of Britain’s 49,500 pubs.




The EY study was commissioned by The Brewers of Europe and aimed to quantify the economic impact of the brewing sector in the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU).  The researchers have also quantified the economic impact for the brewing sector in three other European countries: Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. The results regarding these three countries are not included in the data presented in the EU report as this describes the aggregated economic impact of the brewing sector in the EU only.




The full report also contains national chapters for all EU countries plus the three non-EU countries mentioned above.




The current study is the fifth edition of the economic impact research undertaken by Regioplan and EY. The first report was published in January 2006 (covering 2005), the second in September 2009 (covering 2008), the third in March 2011 (covering 2009) and the fourth in September 2011 (covering 2010).




About The Brewers of Europe: Founded in 1958 and based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe is the voice of the European brewing sector to the European institutions and international organisations. Current members are the national brewers’ associations from EU Member States, plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.




Neil Williams


Head of Media


British Beer & Pub Association


020 7627 9156


07974 249 779