More than 900,000 UK jobs depend on Britain’s brewing and pub trade.
That is the finding of a new study by Oxford Economics for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), which looked at the industry’s impact on employment, wages, and the economy at a local level.
Kent is among the counties most affected, as it is home to 18 breweries including Faversham-based Shepherd Neame, and more than 1,500 pubs.
The study shows that Kent’s brewing and pub trade is responsible, directly and indirectly, for more than 20,000 jobs in the county, and goods and services totalling more than £560m annually.
With so many local jobs depending on the trade, the BBPA is calling for the Government to freeze Beer Duty in next month’s Budget.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Beer and pubs provide huge numbers of local jobs, especially for young people. Last year’s duty cut made a real difference, saving jobs across the country, boosting investment and increasing confidence.“Yet, so much of this good work will be undone if beer duty rises again. We need a duty freeze in the Budget, and I hope all MPs will make the case for beer, pubs and jobs, and support Early Day Motion 892 in Parliament.”
Shepherd Neame chief executive and BBPA chairman Jonathan Neame added: “Thanks to last year’s support from the Chancellor, brewers are investing: in their plant; in new products; and in people.
“We have made significant improvements to our Kent pubs and hotels, such as The Shakespeare in Canterbury and the Botany Bay Hotel in Kingsgate. Meanwhile, the brewery has also benefitted from the installation of a Water Recovery Plant at a cost of £3.5million.
“A freeze on beer duty would help to perpetuate the confidence that has been restored to our sector. This will lead to new jobs and increased investment in the county.”
Some facts about UK beer duty
- The beer and pub sector supports over 900,000 jobs, 46% of which are held by 16-24 year olds.
- Beer and pubs contribute £22 billion to UK GDP and generate £12 billion in total tax revenue.
- 82% of the beer sold in Britain is made here in Britain.
- One job in brewing generates one job in agriculture, one in the supply chain, one in retailing and 18 in pubs.
- From 2008 to 2013, beer tax increased by 42%, with beer sales down 21%, 7,000 pubs closing, and 58,000 UK jobs lost.
- A beer duty freeze in 2014/15 would cost the Treasury just £4 million, according to Oxford Economics.
- Beer duty rates in the UK are still among the highest of any country in Europe.