Trade bodies call on Government to revamp alcohol duty system

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UKHospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping call on Government to revamp alcohol duty system

Related tags Alcohol duty ukhospitality British institute of innkeeping

Two trade bodies have issued a joint call for the Government to revamp the alcohol duty system in order to boost businesses and deliver on the Government’s public health initiatives.

UKHospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) are pushing for the development of a new, more flexible system that they say can support economic growth, boost tax revenues and contribute to the Government’s public health agenda.

It comes in response to the Government’s 'once-in-a-generation' review of the alcohol duty system.

The submission calls for the system to be revised in order to incentivise consumption in pubs and hospitality businesses.

UKH and the BII are calling for a duty discount for draught products; and a rebate for bottles or cans sold through hospitality premises.

The new system would also simplify the way in which products are taxed, with duty increasing with the alcohol by volume of the final product for each drinks category.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “The current system of alcohol duty is a complex beast. There is without doubt scope for reviewing and simplifying it in order to get the best out of it for both businesses and the Exchequer.

“What is absolutely clear is that there should be a separate, discounted rate for alcohol consumed in pubs and hospitality businesses. The benefits of a distinct rate of duty for the on-trade, which has long been advocated for by the sector, are obvious.

“If we are serious about promoting healthier attitudes to alcohol, then it makes sense to incentivise safe and supervised consumption in pubs, bars and the wider hospitality sector.

“A shift in drinking habits away from unsupervised off-trade alcohol to the on-trade would also deliver a tax and employment boost. With the future of the hospitality sector, and indeed the entire UK economy looking perilous, the boost for businesses and their employees would be invaluable.”

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