The beer duty escalator was introduced by the last Government in 2008, and is currently in place until 2014/15. It means that beer duty is automatically increased by 2% above inflation every single year which in this year’s budget meant the beer duty on beer rose by 5%. On top of this you are paying 20% VAT, whereas other European countries have a reduced VAT rate for the hospitality industry as they can see how it benefits their economy. As a result, tax on beer has gone up by over 40% since 2008. You now pay over a third of your pint on tax.
In the last few budgets when the chancellor said he is making no changes to tax on beer, he has meant that he is following the previous governments policy where duty is increase by 2% above inflation. In Abingdon, this has meant that pubs that used to charge £3.20 a pint are now having to charge £3.30 a pint since the budget last month.
Any more increases in beer duty will increase the pressure on pubs already struggling to survive and damage the long term ability of the beer and pub sector to continue contributing over £6 billion a year in duty and VAT, and over £21 billion to the UK’s GDP.
You can help persuade the government that this is a bad thing for the UK economy and the national heritage of British cask conditioned beer which is unique to Britain by signing the petition at epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29664 or read more about it at saveyourpint.co.uk. If 100,000 people sign the petition it will then be debated in the house of commons and have a good chance of being changed. At the moment about 30,000 people have signed it, so it needs a few more to reach the required number.