Brewers call for beer duty support in Chancellor’s Budget

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Call made for reinstatement of duty freeze
Call made for reinstatement of duty freeze

Related tags Drinks

Brewers have called on the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to reinstate the beer duty freeze as costs continue to rise and beer sales start to slow.

Trade association the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has made a final plea in a letter to the Chancellor which highlighting new figures that shows the average costs brewers were up 22% at the end of this summer compared to 2021, even before colder months started to set in.

The letter, sent by the BBPA, representing businesses from  international brewers to regional pub companies, has highlighted the tax as one of a myriad of costs that are driving increased prices for customers and crippling their businesses.  

Highest level of tax

The letter cautions that failing to introduce the beer duty freeze would take the tax to its highest ever historical record at a time of severe pressure for the industry, but reinstating would channel £360m back to pubs and breweries. 

“We are caught in an extremely vicious circle, customers are understandably being cautious, but the cost of doing business is out of control and as a result this is set to be the toughest Christmas on memory for UK pubs and brewers,” ​said ​Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA.

She added that while many just managed to pull through the pandemic but to reinstate the beer duty freeze would alleviate some cost pressures on brewers and to avoid undermining the crucial Alcohol Duty reform measures to be implemented in 2023. 


Paul Davies chief executive of Carlsberg Marstons Brewing Company said: “Costs are spiralling across the whole of our supply chain, from the cost of CO2 to malt to bottles, all directly impacted by energy. A cut to beer duty would ease these pressures so we can continue to supply the industry at this difficult time and help keep the cost of a pint affordable for customers. 

“If the Government is serious about investing in businesses for growth, they need to recognise the value our industry brings not only socially in communities across the UK but economically and deliver a freeze to a tax that is in desperate need of reform.” 

Oliver Robinson, joint managing director of Robinsons Brewery, said: “News of the beer duty freeze by the former Chancellor provided a ray of hope, but the subsequent U-turn has not helped the mood and we urgently need the Chancellor to reinstate it to provide some let up. Beyond this, there needs to be some parity created, we need a VAT reduction within our sector to make sure it can be allowed to thrive once again, not just survive. We want to be in a position where we are supporting and funding government in a fair way, not one that is unsustainable.”

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