Beer Duty / Brewing / General / Statistics / 08 June 2015

British beer sales continue to grow but support still needed

  • Total British beer sales continue to grow year on year, after a decade of decline
  • Market still fragile as Q1 sales 0.8 per cent lower than Q1 2014
  • Continued support for beer and pubs is vital, says BBPA’s Brigid Simmonds

Beer sales are continuing to grow year-on-year, with sales at the end of quarter one rising 1.5 per cent over the past 12 months, it has been announced today. The figures are reported in the latest ‘Beer Barometer’ from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

This continued growth follows nine consecutive years of decline, which saw beer sales slide by an astonishing 24 per cent – 6.7 million fewer pints sold, per day. The BBPA says that huge tax rises were the major culprit, with a devastating beer duty hike of 42 per cent from 2008 to 2013, under the disastrous beer tax ‘escalator’ policy. This sent the typical duty on a pub pint (plus the VAT on the duty) from 38p to 56p. The period saw 7,000 pubs close, with 58,000 jobs lost.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds says the figures highlighted the need for continuity from The Treasury in its tax policy for beer, which has seen a historic hat-trick of beer duty cuts that have hugely helped to stabilise the sector and safeguard the future of many of Britain’s pubs.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:

“The market is still fragile as the industry continues to recover from the damaging beer duty escalator and UK beer duty rates remain among the highest in the EU.

“That is why we need the right tax policies so we can continue to boost jobs and create investment in an industry that employs 900,000 people and is worth £22 billion to our economy.”

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