CAMRA: Cut beer tax to save our pubs

The Campaign for Real Ale marked 1 September as Pub Tax Day and used the occasion this week to call for reductions in the tax charged on draught beer to halt the decline in Britain’s pubs and to keep beer affordable.

With one third, of the year remaining, Pub Tax Day marks the point after which everything spent on beer in pubs for the rest of the year will effectively go straight into the taxman’s pocket.

One third of the price of a pint of beer is made up of the cost of taxes.

The Campaign is calling on the Government to use its next Budget to shake up the beer tax regime so that for the first time it redresses the imbalance between the cost of drinking socially in community pubs and consuming alcohol at home.

CAMRA is urging the Government to seize the opportunity presented by Brexit to give Britain’s beleaguered pubs a shot in the arm and immediately slash duty specifically on draught beer – helping community locals to compete with supermarkets. 

If Britain leaves the EU on 31 October, it will allow the Government to charge different rates of tax on beer depending on where and how it is served – and to levy different rates that reflect the huge social and community benefits that pubs bring. 

Nik Antona, CAMRA’s National Chairman said: “Many pub-goers will be shocked to find out that a third of the price of a pint of beer is going directly to taxes, rates and charges and not to helping to keep local pubs open, alive and thriving.

Pubs are a vital part of the social fabric of our communities. The Government should be doing everything it can to support them in order to reduce the levels of pub closures. 

The uncertainty surrounding leaving the EU is understandably a concern for those in the beer and pub industry – but a commitment to cutting tax on beer served in pubs and reducing prices for consumers would at least offer some hope to local pubs.

A lower rate of tax served in pubs would also level the playing field between cheap supermarket alcohol consumed at home and beer sold in a community pub.

Nik Antona National Executive