Budget 2014 – new poll shows belt-tightened Britons want ‘Same again, George!’ with a cut or freeze in beer duty

Posted: 11 March 2014

Blog category: News, Duty

The BBPA has published the full results of a new YouGov poll analysing how Britons are coping with the cost of living, which reveals that almost a fifth of workers are putting off going out to the pub until payday, because we can’t afford it. The poll, which featured in today’s Sun newspaper, sparked an editorial calling for a cut in beer duty in next week’s Budget.

There is huge support (69 per cent) amongst the UK adult population for a cut or freeze in beer tax, and 80 per cent want wider taxes on pubs to be frozen or cut, and 62 per cent want to see a cut in business rates for Britain’s pubs.

While the Government cut beer duty last year, it rose by 42 per cent over the previous five years, and remains an astonishing twelve times higher than beer duty in our largest neighbour, Germany.

The British Beer & Pub Association, which is campaigning for at least a duty freeze in the Budget, recently revealed that the average pub pays an astonishing £33,300 in alcohol duties, £12,500 in business rates, and £122,200 in total taxes and regulatory charges – huge costs that must be passed on to hard-pressed pub goers.

As well as cutting back on visits to the pub, other coping strategies deployed by the hard-pressed public include holding back on the big grocery shop, cutting back on ‘non-essential’ items, and eating out less in restaurants.

The survey shows that despite the welcome turnaround in the economy, as a nation we continue to tighten our collective belts and are looking to the Budget to provide some respite. According to YouGov, the effects of economic upturn are only being felt by a small number of households as four out of five households don’t expect to be better off 12 months from now.

BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, comments: “The Chancellor has a golden opportunity in the Budget, to help hard pressed consumers by cutting, or at the very least freezing, beer duty to help pubs.

“Last year’s historic duty cut was both wise and popular. Action on beer duty would help boost the quality of life for millions of Britons who are still feeling the pinch, by protecting one of life’s simple pleasures – a great beer in your favourite pub.”