Beer tax freeze a missed opportunity

Sunday 20 March 2016

Beer tax freeze a missed opportunity, says CAMRA

The Chancellor's decision not to cut beer tax is a missed opportunity, according to the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). CAMRA, however, welcomed reductions in stamp duty and business rates* will help to keep small community pubs open.

By failing to cut beer tax for a fourth year in a row, the Chancellor has missed an opportunity to support the ongoing revival of brewing in the UK.

CAMRA had been pushing for a cut in beer tax which would have prompted additional investment in the industry, protected jobs and importantly, supported stable prices for customers.

CAMRA Chief Executive, Tim Page, said: "A freeze in beer tax is an opportunity missed to back the continued revival of brewing in the UK. With UK drinkers paying the second highest rate of beer duty in Europe, a beer tax cut was needed to keep pubs open, boost the brewing sector and to keep the cost of a pint stable.

"However, the sustainability of smaller community pubs has been boosted by welcome decisions to cut commercial stamp duty and the business rates paid by small businesses. The extension of small business rate relief will save publicans of smaller pubs thousands of pounds

annually which will help keep community pubs as viable businesses and at the heart of community life. Likewise, cuts in commercial stamp duty will reduce the financial barriers faced by people looking to purchase small community pubs to keep them open and serving the needs of local people."

*The reductions in stamp duty will only apply in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The business rates change only applies to England.