Report backs calls to freeze UK beer duty

A new report has stressed the “vital role” of beer and pubs in the UK strengthening calls for a freeze on beer duty in this year’s budget.

London pubThe independent report carried out by Oxford Economics for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), revealed that 900,000 jobs in the UK depend on the British beer and pub industry – 46% of which are held by young workers aged 16-24.

Writing in the report, Adrian Cooper, chief executive officer of Oxford Economics, said: “Our findings again demonstrate that the importance of the beer and pub sector to the UK economy should not be underestimated.

“An important source of employment and output in every region, its activity provides significant tax contributions, investment, flexible working conditions and opportunities for young people to enter the labour market”

The report said the industry pays out £11 billion in wages and adds £22 billion to the economy.

Brewing itself sustains 80,000 UK jobs, but it is in pubs where the jobs impact is most felt, with 820,000 jobs.

The BBPA has argued that because so many local jobs depend on the trade in every community in Britain, the Government should freeze beer duty in the upcoming Budget to protect the industry.

Between 2008 to 2013, beer tax increased by 42 per cent, despite beer sales dropped by 21 per cent, and 7,000 pubs closed.

An early day motion has been put forward by the BBPA calling for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to build on the scrapping of the beer duty escalator in 2013 by freezing beer duty in the 2014 Budget.

Brigid Simmonds OBE, BBPA chief executive  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.”

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