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Budget 2015: Pubs toast chancellor’s beer duty cut

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Britain's brewers and pubs were given a timely boost in the last UK Budget before the May General Election, with beer duty cut for the third year in a row.

Chancellor George Osborne was hailed a “hat-trick hero” by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), which said the move would create 3,800 jobs and attract new capital investment.

The chancellor announced that duty on beer would fall by a penny for the third consecutive year as he delivered his final budget of this parliament in Westminster today (18 March). There were also 2 per cent cuts on cider and whisky duties, while wine duty was frozen.

“The Chancellor really is a ‘Hat Trick Hero’. His third, successive beer tax cut shows he has listened to consumers, publicans and brewers,” said BBPA chair Brigid Simmonds.

“Beer tax is now ten pence lower than it would have been under the beer duty escalator, which he abolished.

“It will put £18m in the pockets of beer drinkers and pubgoers. That is a huge difference.”

With Britain’s beer and pub sector contributing £22bn to GDP each year and supporting almost 900,000 jobs, the move is expected to bring tangible economic benefits. Experts pointed out that the renewed confidence instilled by previous duty cuts led to beer sales rising in 2014 for the first time in a decade.

“The last two cuts have already had a huge impact, saving over 1,000 pubs from closure and keeping the price of a pub pint down,” said CAMRA chief executive Tim Page.

“We hope Britain’s millions of pub goers will head to their local this evening to give three cheers to a historic third cut in beer tax!”

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Britain's brewers and pubs were given a timely boost in the last UK Budget before the May General Election, with beer duty cut for the third year in a row.
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Chancellor George Osborne delivered his final budget of this parliament in Westminster today (18 March)