In 2013, Chancellor George Osborne announced the decision to scrap the ‘escalator’ and cut beer duty by 1p in a bid to support our British pubs... the first beer duty cut since 1959. Fast-forward three years and we are delighted to announce a historic hat trick as beer duty is cut for the third year in a row, following today’s Budget.
Cheered by pubs and Britain’s 32 million beer drinkers across the country, in what has been named a “budget of the long term”, the Chancellor has become a beer hero by cutting the price of a pint by 1p for the third year running.
Regional independent family brewer – Robinsons Brewery of Stockport – have promised to pass on the penny cut in beer duty to their licensees. In a joint statement, Oliver Robinson and William Robinson, Joint Managing Directors of the 177 year old brewery, commented: “We would like to thank Mr Osborne for his support and understanding in the brewing and pub sector.”
Oliver Robinson (Beer Division): “Britain is known around the world for its real ale and great pubs and the industry as a whole is an incredibly important part of our economy; with beer and pubs contributing £22 billion to UK GDP, generating £11 billion in tax revenue and supporting nearly a million people across the UK who rely on the industry for work. After brewing costs, distribution, supply chain costs, and of course the beer duty tax, profitability in the industry has been under severe pressure for consumers, publicans and brewers alike. The successive duty cuts have not only given a much needed boost to beer drinkers across the UK, but it has also helped to create new jobs, as well as protecting existing ones, and this gives us great confidence in really investing in our own beer, pubs and people. Thank you, and now for a Duty Freeze moving forwards.”
While alcohol consumption has been steadily declining since 2004 (now 18.4% lower than it was in 2004, when the current, falling trend began), it has fallen more slowly since the Conservative government started to cut beer duty three years ago. Indeed, in a startling turnaround, Britain’s beer drinkers have overturned a long-term trend, with beer recovering its market share for the first time since 2006; extending its lead as the nation’s favourite tipple.
William Robinson (Pub Division): “After receiving three consecutive beer duty cuts, it’s fair to say that confidence, investment and employment in our sector has been significantly boosted. Independent research by CEBR forecasts that the price of a pub pint will now be more than 20p cheaper than it would have been had the beer duty escalator remained in place. Here at Robinsons, we’ve made a historic investment in our brewery, our people and our pubs; with 35 redevelopment schemes planned for our estate in 2015. However, after years of above inflation duty increases, British beer is still one of the highest taxed in Europe and we need to keep the momentum going to secure jobs, and support pubs across the country. We look forward to persuading MPs in the next Parliament that a freeze for 5 years would offer greater security for the future of the British pub, its customers and its staff.”
To find out the impact of beer and pubs, on jobs and the economy in YOUR area, visit www.beerandpubjobs.co.uk.
Impact of the Beer Duty Cut:
The last two cuts have already had a huge impact, saving over 1,000 pubs from closure.
* Independent research by CEBR forecasts that the price of a pub pint will now be more than 20p cheaper than it would have been had the beer duty escalator remained in place.
* A third cut in beer tax will help ensure the sector returns to long term growth after many years of pub closures and falling beer sales, caused in part by a 42% beer tax increase between 2008 and 2012, and throw a lifeline to struggling community pubs across the country.
* Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “The Chancellor really is a ‘Hat Trick Hero’. His third, successive beer tax cut shows he has listened to consumers, publicans and brewers. Beer tax is now ten pence lower than it would have been under the beer duty escalator, which he abolished. It will boost employment by 3,800 this year alone and attract new capital investment. It will put 180 million pounds in the pockets of beer drinkers and pubgoers. That is a huge difference. Cutting beer duty supports a great British Industry, which contributes £22 billion to GDP and supports almost 900,000 jobs. It’s also a boost for pubs, as beer accounts for seven out every ten alcohol drinks sold in our pubs. The renewed confidence in our sector is reflected in rising beer sales in 2014, for the first time in a decade. There is of course more work to be done, and we look forward to persuading MPs in the next Parliament that further action is needed to encourage consumers towards our lower-strength, British-made national drink.”