Beer Duty / Community / General / Statistics / 06 February 2016

Budget 2016 - latest UK beer sales figures show pressing need for another cut in beer duty, says BBPA

Annual sales of beer in Britain declined by 1.5 per cent in 2015, showing the pressing need for another cut in beer duty in the Budget on 16th March to boost Britain’s pubs. The figures are from the BBPA’s quarterly Beer Barometer survey.

The decline represents a loss of 114 million pints from Britain’s pubs, bars and restaurants, as off-trade sales in shops and supermarkets held steady in 2015.

With the Budget looming on 16th March, campaigners say this is not time for the Chancellor to start reversing his three, historic cuts in beer duty in the last three Budgets – particularly as the sector faces big financial challenges in the year ahead. There will be rising costs from the National Living Wage, higher Business Rates, and the Apprenticeship Levy all hitting the bottom line for Britain’s hard pressed pubs.

UK beer drinkers already pay some of the highest beer taxes in the EU – twice the European average, and a staggering 13 times higher than in Germany, where beer duty is just 4p a pint compared to 54p here.

The British Beer & Pub Association, is campaigning hard with others, including CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), for a fourth penny cut, to safeguard jobs in the sector, mostly in Britain’s much loved community pubs.

BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, comments:

“The figures are certainly not all bad news, as overall, Britain’s beer sales have stabilised over the past three years following years of sharp decline, due to the disastrous tax policy of the beer duty escalator, which saw beer tax rise by 42 per cent from 2008 to 2013.

“Since then, we have seen growing confidence in the sector, but the figures show this is no time for complacency, and any return to tax rises would wipe out this fragile recovery.

“We need another one penny cut in the Budget – to safeguard jobs and much-loved pubs, and to help Britain’s hard pressed beer drinkers.”

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