Thursday 16 February 2017

A penny for the pub, mister?

With the Chancellor's Budget less than a month away, CAMRA is campaigning to keep the price of the British pint down by calling on the Treasury to reduce beer duty by 1p ahead of the Budget on the 8 March. With higher inflation expected in the next year (it rose to 1.8% last month), the cut will help to cap the price of beer and benefit the pubs and brewing sector.

Although in recent years there have been three 1p cuts and one freeze in beer duty, British drinkers still pay among the highest rate in Europe at 52.2p per pint, compared to other big brewing nations such as Germany and Spain, where duty is less than 5p a pint.

The three cuts have been good news for drinkers, pubs and the Treasury, helping to limit price rises and protect the beer, brewing and pubs sector which supports nearly 900,000 jobs and contributes £23.6bn to the economy every year.

As Southport MP John Pugh has pointed out, pubs are economically important locally. He cites statistics published by Oxford Economics last year demonstrating that Southport’s 54 pubs directly or indirectly support 1,184 jobs across the pub and brewing industry, and contribute £25 million to the local economy.

In a further effort to help pubs, CAMRA is calling for a reduction of up to £5000 in business rates for pubs in England which would allow pub owners to reinvest the additional funds back into the business.

Colin Valentine, CAMRA's National Chair says: "Previous cuts to beer duty have benefited beer drinkers and supported significant growth in the brewing industry. However, we as a nation are still paying a notable amount - especially in comparison to our European neighbours. At the same time, pubs are confronted with higher taxation and cost … We are simply calling for fairer measures for beer drinkers and publicans." 

This is an article I recently wrote for the CAMRA column in our local paper, the Southport Visiter.


  1. The government needs to lower the tax on desirable activity and increase it on undesirable activity.

    Reduce corporation tax and whack up the tax on bitter I say!


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