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12th September 2017

September inflation – BBPA issues warning over beer tax in Budget

The British Beer & Pub Association has issued a warning that today’s rocketing inflation rate should not be used to ratchet up beer taxes in the autumn Budget, as currently planned.


If the Chancellor sticks to an inflation-based increase already pencilled in, the benefits of the Government’s three, one penny cuts in beer duty could be undone, in a single year.


The plans are made worse by the Government’s use of the now widely discredited RPI index, announced at 3.9 today, compared with the headline CPI of 2.9 per cent, and the fact that beer has already had a substantial, 3.9 per cent tax rise in the March Budget, costing the sector £130 million.


With the inflation figure expected to worsen in October, the Government is in danger of creating a ‘vicious circle’, with tax hikes fuelling further price inflation in the sector.


The move, which could put an extra two pence on a pint, would be a big blow for beer drinkers and Britain’s much-loved pubs, where beer accounts for two thirds of all alcoholic drinks’ sales.  With price inflation running ahead of household incomes, the pub trade is particularly vulnerable to new and unnecessary cost pressures, and the Chancellor should not make a pint in the pub less affordable for pubgoers at the end of a hard-working week, the association says.


BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, comments:


“A second beer tax hike this year, based on inflation, would undo much of the good work done in tackling Britain’s sky-high rates of beer duty.


“Abolishing the hated, beer duty escalator saved many pubs and jobs, after years of unsustainable tax rises. With the challenge of Brexit, and a range of other cost pressures, the Chancellor should abandon plans for a beer duty increase in the Budget.”




For further information, please contact:

David Wilson, Director of Public Affairs: 020 7627 915107557 436 033

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


Notes to editors:

The British Beer & Pub Association is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. The Association is more than a century old and was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904. Our members account for some 90 per cent of beer brewed in Britain today, and own around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs.



Neil Williams

Head of Media

British Beer & Pub Association

020 7627 9156

07974 249 779