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BBPA calls for action on beer duty ahead of Budget

Ahead of the Spring Budget and expected announcements on alcohol duty, the British Beer & Pub Association's CEO has made comment.

Emma McClarkin (pictured) said, “If the Chancellor fails to act on alcohol duty, tax on beer will rise to the highest it has ever been.

“At a time when many are struggling to stay open, no freeze or reduction in beer duty will send costs rocketing throughout pubs and breweries across the UK, causing irreversible damage to a sector that is already facing a massive squeeze in margins due to inflation and extortionate energy costs. This will leave businesses with no other option but to hike the price of a pint at the bar.

“Pricing people out of their local will not only be an economic disaster, but a social and cultural one too.' Emma continued. 'It will put the places where relationships are formed, and memories are made at an even greater risk of closure than they already are.

“This Budget is a make or break moment for Britain’s pubs and breweries and we’re counting on Jeremy Hunt to do everything he can to help keep their doors open for communities across the country.”

Any changes to alcohol duty are due to come into force from August 2023.

Key facts & figures:
• 7 in 10 of the drinks sold in a pub are beer
• 2,000 pubs could be at risk of closure without support in Spring Budget, recent BBPA analysis showed
• 288 million fewer pints estimated to be sold in 2023/24, potentially leading to 25,000 job losses and potentially 2,000 business closures across the brewing and pub industry.
• Recent polling showed 69% of the nation think pubs play an important role in bringing communities together
• The UK’s beer and pub industry supports close to 940,000 jobs
• The industry adds £26.2bn to the UK’s economy each year