Friday, 6 July 2012


The beer duty (beer tax) escalator was introduced by the last Labour Government in 2008, and is currently in place until 2014/15. It means that beer duty is automatically increased by 2% above the inflation rate every single year. As a result, tax on beer has gone up by over 40% since 2008. You now pay over a third of your pint on beer duty. Any more increases in beer duty will increase the pressure on public houses, already struggling to survive, and damage the long term ability of the beer and pub sector to continue contributing over £6b a year in duty and VAT, and over £21b to the UK’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

The consumer campaign Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is calling for the Chancellor to abandon the unfair beer duty escalator in the annual Budget.
It’s time to recognise the economic and social value of the Great British beer and pub industry. A pint in a pub should not be an unaffordable luxury.

So much has changed since it was introduced. Inflation has risen, VAT has increased, brewing costs have risen and incomes have fallen. Some public sector workers have had their pay frozen for two years. The rationale behind the policy no longer applies.

Shifting the balance now would not only be fairer, it may also encourage people to drink lower strength, British made drinks in pubs.
Britain’s pubs face an impossible situation with a stagnant economy and a crippling level of duty being placed on every pint.

With around £1 of every pint sold in a pub as duty and VAT, Licensees must raise their prices to levels where they can’t compete with heavily discounting supermarkets which compels people to drink at home and other unregulated environments.

Every year, the beer tax escalator is set to increase the tax on beer by 2% above the inflation rate, thus adding considerably more pressure on the British pub, the cornerstone of many of our communities. Removing the beer duty escalator at the next budget will help keep beer more affordable and go a long way to supporting the institution that is – the great British pub.

Going to the pub is a core British tradition and so is enjoying great beer. If you want to continue enjoying your fresh pint in your local pub then it’s crucial that you support the campaign to grind the beer duty tax escalator to a halt.
If we don’t show our support for the great British pub, we risk losing more pubs and more jobs within our local communities.

Support great beer in the great British pub and sign the e-petition –


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