Pub operators and brewers urge duty cut

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

14 March 2016

The brewing industry has teamed up to issue a final plea to Chancellor George Osborne to cut beer duty for the fourth successive year, ahead of Wednesday’s Budget announcement.

Thirty-six BBPA members have signed a joint letter to The Times, saying further cuts would boost investment and protect jobs. The group claims that 'three successive beer duty cuts have boosted investment and confidence in an industry that supports nearly 900,000 jobs throughout the UK'.

The letter reads: 'We hope the Chancellor continues his investment in our brewing industry, our pubs, and our local communities, with a further penny off a pint in the Budget.

'Brewers and pub operators will invest around £1bn this year, yet beer duty is still 37% higher than in 2008. The UK tax rate is still an astonishing 13 times higher than in the largest European beer market, Germany, and three times higher than the EU average.

'More jobs, and an end to the steep decline in beer sales, mean that a cut in duty would cost very little in overall terms. It would also be a popular measure with voters, who want an affordable pub pint and rightly value the role that pubs play in their communities.

Those signing the letter include Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay; Fuller’s managing director Simon Emeny; Molson Coors managing director Fred Landtmeters; Enterprise Inns chief executive Simon Townsend; Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Punch Taverns; Julian Momen, chief executive of Carlsberg UK; and Jason Warner, president for North Europe at AB InBev UK.

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