Beer tax hikes threaten jobs of 300,000 young people, says BBPA

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beer tax Public house Beer

Beer Tax hikes are set to reach 42 per cent since the controversial escalator was introduced in 2008
Beer Tax hikes are set to reach 42 per cent since the controversial escalator was introduced in 2008
A new report commissioned by the British Beer& Pub Association (BBPA) shows that 300,000 young people are directly employed in the beer and pub industry, fuelling concerns that plans for huge beer tax hikes in next month’s budget will put more young people out of work.

The figures, revealed at the Westminster Arms pub yesterday evening, reveal that a total of 950,000 British jobs now depend on the UK beer and pub sector – 34,000 fewer than last year – while brewing and pubs are worth £19.4bn to the UK economy.

“The 300,000 young people working in brewing and pubs cannot afford another beer tax increase in the Budget,” said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

“The Chancellor should recognise the vital economic role the industry plays in providing job opportunities for people of all ages, but particularly young people, as well as serving local communities.

“We need a duty freeze.”

The report, published by Oxford Economics, also shows:

  • The beer and pub sector contributes over £11 billion in tax revenues
  • £13 billion is paid in wages in the sector
  • There are now 900 breweries in the UK – a vital part of Britain’s manufacturing mix

 BigHospitality’s beer tax timeline:

March 2008 – ​The discredited beer tax ‘escalator’ policy was introduced by the then-Chancellor Alistair Darling

March 2009 – ​Figures revealed that a record 2,000 pubs had closed since Chancellor Alistair Darling increased beer tax in the 2008 Budget​, taking with them 20,000 industry jobs

April 2009 – ​The pub closures were revealed to have cost the Treasury £242m in lost tax revenue, while 90 per cent of the British public were calling for freeze on beer tax

April 2009 – ​A poll commissioned by the Axe the Beer Tax – Save the Pub campaign revealed the majority of MPs opposed Alistair Darling’s plans to increase beer tax ahead of the 2009 Budget

June 2009 ​– More figures from the BBPA revealed that Britons are paying the third highest amount of beer tax on a single pint in the EU​ - nine times more than the Germans

December 2009 – ​The Chancellor confirmed that alcohol tax increases will remain in place​ after announcing in his Pre-Budget Report that the VAT rate will return to 17.5 per cent in January

March 2010 ​– Budget 2010: Alcohol duty rose, as planned

April 2010 ​– More than 400 would-be MPs signed up to the BBPA’s I'm Backing the Pub campaign

March 2011 ​– The rate of pub closures slowed to 25 per week, although government revealed a seven per cent rise in beer tax in the budget

March 2011 ​– The pub industry gave its reaction to the 2011 Budget​, claiming that the continuation of the beer tax escalator will not only cost the Treasury money, but lose the pub industry ten thousand jobs in 2011

October 2011 ​– More bad news. UK pub beer sales were down 4.3 per cent in the third quarter​ from the same period in 2010 – something the BBPA claimed could be put down to the tax escalator

November 2011 ​- Chancellor George Osborne offered help to small and medium-size businesses in his autumn statement, but the BBPA urged action on the escalator

February ​- Pub company Admiral Taverns announced it is to freeze the prices of a broad selection of its draught beers​ in an attempt to hit back at imminent increases in beer tax

February ​– Last orders: The British beer and pub industry has unanimously demanded a freeze in the Government’s controversial beer tax escalator​ ahead of the upcoming budget.

March ​– Budget 2012: Beer Tax hikes are set to reach 42 per cent since the first stage of this timeline

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