Pubs Call on Government to Match EU Beer Duty Rates


Pubs in the UK are urging the government to reduce beer duty rates to match those in the European Union. Currently, the tax on a pint of beer in Britain is three times higher than the European average. The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) is leading the Long Live the Local campaign, which calls for a cut in beer duty in the upcoming Budget and a pledge to bring it in line with the EU average over the next Parliament. The average duty on a pint of beer in the EU is currently 19.7p, compared to 54p for draught beer and 59p for packaged beer in the UK.

Reducing the Cost of Living

BBPA CEO Emma McClarkin has highlighted that the UK is one of the most expensive places in the world to buy a pint of beer, with Brits paying more than double the beer duty that Europeans do. Bringing beer duty in line with the European average would help ease the cost of living pressures on ordinary people and support the employment and income generated by the pub industry. As part of the campaign, the BBPA is also calling for reform of business rates and a reduction in the VAT rate to assist publicans facing cost-of-living pressures.

Brexit and Duty Rates

Tory MP Alun Cairns, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, believes that Brexit provides an opportunity to be more imaginative in setting duty rates. He suggests having different rates for pubs compared to supermarkets, with the aim of reducing beer duty further in pubs. Cairns emphasizes the need to support pubs and sees reducing beer duty as a key part of achieving this goal.

Christmas Advert Celebrates the Pub Industry

The BBPA is also launching the first-ever Christmas advert for the British pub industry. The advert focuses on "the people behind the pint," such as the farmers harvesting the ingredients and the brewers who spend months perfecting the Christmas pint. The BBPA estimates that this festive season will see a total of 682 million pints consumed in British pubs and homes, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. Additionally, it predicts that 500,000 casks and 3 million kegs, 80% of which are produced by the local brewing industry, will be sold to pubs in December.