Pubs and brewers call for level playing field on tax

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Pubs and brewers call for level playing field on tax

Related tags British beer & pub association Tax Beer

A group of UK publicans and brewers have written an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for a levelling up of the high tax rates that are burdening businesses.

The One Voice for Beer group, which is made up of trade bodies and Europe’s largest consumer group made clear their broad support for the Government’s alcohol duty review, but urged further action following an incredibly tough last two years of trading.

The group highlights the fact that pubs pay more than a third of their turnover in taxes, compared to the six US tech giants who pay less than 2% of their UK turnover in corporation tax. While UK brewers pay over 40% of their turnover in taxes – primarily beer duty – whereas online gambling companies pay only 7%.

“We cannot ignore the fact that the tax burden on UK beer and pubs is still disproportionally high,” read the letter.

The signatories, which include the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Campaign for Real Ale, have asked Sunak to 'level the playing field' for brewers and pub operators, arguing that beer duty should be reduced closer to the rate of duty paid by cider, which is significantly lower, over future Budgets.

“Combined, the tough economic headwinds and legacy of disproportionate duties on beer and pubs mean that, even after a sensible and positive review of alcohol duties, our sector must ask the Treasury to go further,” said Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA.

“Pubs and the brewers contribute so much to our social fabric and economy, yet brewing is one of the highest taxed business sectors in the UK.

“We urge the Chancellor to go further and back British beer and pubs as we build back better through 2022 and beyond.”

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