Pub beer sales fall

Britain’s pubs have seen a six per cent fall in beer sales in the first quarter of 2012, according to the latest quarterly “Beer Barometer” from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

In contrast, off trade sales were up by nearly five per cent. The BBPA have put the fall in sales down to the rises in the tax on beer.

Beer Tax was increased by a further five per cent in the March Budget – making for a 42% tax hike since March 2008.

The figures, in that beer sales are now falling at a slower rate than in the previous four years. Overall beer sales fell by 1.4 per cent in the quarter compared to last year. In the year to March 2012, overall beer sales were down 2.9 per cent, following the 7 per cent rise in beer duty last March.

The BBPA and Oxford Economics believe this decision will cost some 5,000 jobs in 2012/13.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, commented: “These figures show the Chancellor was totally wrong to raise beer tax again in his Budget, as this discredited policy continues to hit pubs hard. This key British industry could be an engine of growth for the economy – but poor tax policy is damaging our potential. The public are getting behind calls for a change in policy, and signing the e-petition in their thousands. I hope people will continue to respond positively and back a tax freeze – and I hope the Government will listen.”

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