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Beer Duty / Business rates / Pubs / Taxation / VAT / 26 August 2021

Pubs to serve 60 million pints over bank holiday weekend – 6 million fewer than pre-covid

BBPA says reform of Business Rates, VAT and Beer Duty cut essential to bridge the gap in pubs’ recovery

 

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today revealed it estimates 60 million pints of beer will be sold in Britain’s pubs over the August bank holiday weekend – 6 million fewer than the same period in 2019.

The trade association said the forecast was based on a survey of its members, who own 20,000 of the UK’s pubs and brew 90% of the beer in the UK.

It means that this bank holiday weekend alone, pubs will lose out on £25 million in revenue from pint sales – down 10% on revenue for the same bank holiday in 2019 before COVID – a very significant decrease in revenue for pubs.

As the brewing and pub sector in the UK gears up for recovery now the majority of restrictions have been lifted, the BBPA is urging the Government to invest in the sector to help it bridge the gap in revenues and enable pubs to play a leading role in building back better.

It says the UK brewing and pub sectors are grossly overtaxed and so to support their recovery and the Government’s levelling up agenda Government must reform or cut taxes on the sector to enable it to build back better.

Earlier this week, the trade association revealed that pubs will overpay on Business Rates by £570 million a year from March 2022, unless the Government reforms the rates system. That is money the sector could use to reinvest in its pubs to support the recovery in communities across the UK.

The trade association is also calling for a permanent cut in VAT in pubs which extends to the beer sold in them, and a Beer Duty cut.

In the UK, Beer Duty has increased by 60% over the last 20 years and now the UK has one of the highest rates of duty in Europe.

The BBPA says investment from the Government in pubs by cutting their taxes will have a strong return in levelling up communities across the UK.

A pub adds significant value to the local economy, creates jobs, acts as a social hub, and is a sought after amenity when house hunting. 85% of pubs are based in community and rural areas, bringing jobs to parts of the UK that need them most. They employ over 600,000 people, of which 43% are under 25.

The BBPA is backing the Long Live The Local campaign, which is calling for Government investment in pubs as part of the recovery and to build back better, by reforming Business Rates, VAT and a cut in Beer Duty. So far, over 50,000 people have signed the petition calling on the Government to support pubs and breweries and nearly 40,000 have written to their MP directly to ask them to support pubs in their constituencies.

 

A British Beer & Pub Association spokesperson said:

“We reckon Brits supporting their local this bank holiday weekend will buy 60 million pints. Of course our sector is grateful to be fully open again and for all the trade it can get, but that is still 6 million pints down on 2019.

“Trading 10% down is a huge gap in sales for pubs. Especially after 16 months of lockdown and heavy restrictions that destroyed trade.

“The Government must bridge the gap for pubs and invest in them. Reforming excessive Business Rates, permanently lowering VAT and cutting Beer Duty is clearly the answer.

“Pubs have so much to give to the UK’s recovery and building back better in communities across the country, so it’s a no-brainer.

“A pub adds significant value to the local economy, provides vital jobs and creates connected and vibrant communities, particularly in community and rural areas.

“If the Government is serious about levelling up the UK and building back better, it must invest in our pubs so that they can help lead the much needed economic and social recovery.”

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