Consumers back Budget beer duty cut or freeze

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

23 February 2016

Seventy-two percent of consumers support a freeze in beer duty to support pubs, according to a new YouGov poll commissioned by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

However the poll – which sought the views of 1,736 adults over the 21 and 22 January ahead of the Budget on 16 March – also found that 18% support a tax rise to raise extra money for the Government.

The poll also found that over one in three people surveyed, at 37%, believe the amount of beer tax currently paid in Britain is unfair. However 20% of consumers deemed the current taxation level as ‘fair’. Older consumers, and those living in the Midlands, Wales and the North of England were mostly likely to say that current taxation levels on beer are too high.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: 'This new poll shows the public understands how important pubs are to local people, and how a penny off a pint is the simplest and best way to give pubs a boost. George Osborne has been in tune with the public so far, with his three beer tax cuts saving pub-goers millions. He can keep up the good work, with another penny off a pint in the Budget.'

Duty on beer currently stands at 52p per pint for beer that’s 5% ABV and over. Duty has been cut by 1p per pint during the last three Budget announcements.

The survey also found that there is widespread misunderstanding and a lack of knowledge among UK consumers regarding taxation levels on beer, compared to elsewhere in Europe. According to the BBPA, UK beer duty rates are on average three times higher than EU rates, and 13 times higher than in Germany, the largest beer market in Europe. Whilst 57% of people polled correctly thought UK beer tax is higher than in most countries in Europe, 18% believed it was the same or less, and one-quarter stated they did not know.

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