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25th January 2024

New Research Finds 5% Beer Duty Cut Could Create 13,000 New Jobs

The British Beer and Pub Association has revealed exclusive research by Oxford Economics showing that a Government cut to beer duty by 5% would lead to the creation of up to 13,000 jobs.

Cutting beer duty is a central ask of the beer and pub industry in the upcoming Spring Budget, along with a cap to the business rates multiplier and a reduction to the VAT charged on non-alcoholic drinks and food served in pubs. The UK’s beer and pub sector is facing a whirlwind of challenges from all angles. This research comes after the recent news that over 500 pubs closed their doors for the final time during 2023.

The combination of stubbornly high energy bills, the third highest beer duty in Europe and no VAT relief for hospitality has forced many to close their doors.

At a time when so many high streets are visibly struggling, pubs are an economic force multiplier in local economies; a thriving High Street is anchored by a thriving pub(s). The industry already supports 936,000 jobs around the UK and contributes £26bn to the wider economy whilst simultaneously generating £15bn in taxes.

The sectors importance for skills and growth is unequivocal,  40% of those employed are 18-24 years old. This generation of trained young staff are developing vital skills in a flexible industry. The loss of pubs is a loss of skills gained for a generation in need of flexible, well paid, social work.

Creating the right environment to ensure jobs can be created and sustained is the job of Government.

Pubs and Breweries now face even narrower operating margins. With one in three pounds spent at the pub going in taxes and 40% of Breweries turnover being tax. The position for many is unsustainable, which is why setting the optimal fiscal and regulatory framework is critical .

Alun Cairns MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group said:

“It was wonderful to see beer duty frozen once again at the last Autumn Statement, and the introduction of the Brexit Pubs Guarantee means there will always be less tax on a pint at the pub than the supermarket. Britain’s pubs and brewers generate so much value for local economies and communities and it is clear that a cut to beer duty at the Spring Budget can be a driver of economic growth and job creation.”

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

“This new research offers proof that a 5% cut to beer duty can deliver vital economic growth up and down the country. The Chancellor has stated that he is focussing on cutting taxes at the Spring Budget – now he has the proof that cutting beer duty won’t just affect the cost of a pint but will deliver vital economic growth and create jobs.”


For more information or to arrange an interview contact / 020 7627 9199

Notes to editors:

  • Oxford Economics have been modelling the impact of beer duty changes since 2004 and regularly updating this since. Whilst any structural changes to demand from the pandemic and after-effects are not yet clear, based on their current model, Oxford Economics calculates that a 5% cut versus a planned 5.1% RPI increase would boost sales by up to 640,000 barrels (adding 2% to the total beer market) and result in up to 13,000 more vital local jobs, largely in pubs.
  • The additional sales and subsequent boost to other tax revenues (from VAT and employment-related taxes) would significantly offset the excise cost to Government, making this a relatively low-cost measure with a compelling return on investment, especially when factoring in the wider social value of the pub sector and nudging consumers towards lower-strength products. It would also reduce unemployment-related benefits.

About the British Beer & Pub Association

The BBPA represents businesses 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 / 020 7627 9199

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