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The Budget 2013 - our view

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

A pint of AdnamsA small step in the right direction

In this year's Budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced that beer duty will be cut by 2% (around a penny a pint) by the end of the month, scrapping the annual above-inflation rise in beer duty that was threatening the future of the beer and pub industry. Adnams' Finance Director, Stephen Pugh, comments: "This is a small step in the right direction. Beer duty had gone up by 42% since 2008, which has hit consumers hard. This move reflects a more helpful attitude to beer, and one that makes sense at this time of austerity. With UK beer duty rates many times higher than in most European countries, this has been an issue that has united our industry and its customers. Many have been involved in the campaign to scrap the duty escalator and they can finally claim some success. This will be welcome news for the numerous pubs that are facing unprecedented pressure on their businesses.”

National campaign

There's been a steady and consistent campaign to call a halt to the beer duty escalator by bodies such as the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The issue has been widely covered and supported by the national press which has drawn attention to the economic problems British pubs are facing. Brigid Simmons, BBPA Chief Executive, comments: "I want to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of people who have supported this campaign. This has been a broad and persuasive campaign uniting the industry and consumers.  I hope this heralds the start of a long term change that recognises the benefits of beer and pubs for the economy, and for society.”

What was the 'beer duty escalator'?

The beer duty escalator was introduced by the last Government in 2008, and was set to run until 2014/15.  The beer duty escalator has meant that duty has increased by 2% above inflation every year. This means that today, a third of the cost of your pint is tax.

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Sarah Groves

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