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Pubs are under pressure due to beer duty burden

Peter Kelly
Mar 3, 2020


Beer and pubs.

We've all got our favourites. Heading down the pub with a few of your mates to have a chat, watch the football or have a go thinking you're the new Phil Taylor, pubs are seen up and down our nation but they have been declining in numbers.

Between July and December 2018, the Campaign for Real Ale stated 378 pubs were shut down- a rate of one every 12 hours. One reason for this is often said to be the high rate of beer duty.

Beer duty tax raised 3.4 billion for the Treasury last year alone.

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According to figures from Long Live The Local, in the UK by Thursday 27th February, we would have already paid as much beer duty in 2020 as Germany would pay in the whole of 2020, although they consume nearly double the amount of beer the UK does.

Speaking about the beer duty tax, which is seeing many pubs suffer, Emma McClarkin, CEO of the British Beer and Pub Association (BPPA) told the Kelvin MacKenzie show on Love Sport Radio: "Well, I'm as outraged as anybody else.

"It is absolutely a huge burden on our businesses- 11 times more than Germany and Spain and four times more than anywhere else in Europe, it is just too much.

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"Our businesses and our pubs are coming under so much pressure from the tax burden that they receive. And so we desperately are calling for a 2% cut, or one pence off of your pint of beer because it really makes a difference to our pubs. Seven out of 10 alcoholic drinks sold in a pub is beer and that's why it makes such a significant difference to all of our pubs across the country.

"Well, we've lost 13,000 pubs for good in the UK over the last 20 years. And we all have a local or a pub that we know that has closed down in the next village. And we don't want that to be the case. When they actually increased beer duty, in 2008-2012, we saw 5000 pubs close their doors, and we saw 10s of thousands of jobs lost to the pub sector.

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"So this is absolutely critical for the pub industry that we get this beer duty cut to make sure we can keep our locals open."

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