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CAMRA Angry Over Attack On Beer

Why beer?

Published on March 21st 2012.

CAMRA Angry Over Attack On Beer

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, has lambasted the government for its careless approach to one of Britain’s most valued institutions, the pub, as a further inflation plus 2% increase on beer will bring about yet more price rises at the bar, and further job losses in the sector.

This is a shadow cast over the beer drinker depriving people of an affordable night down their local.

With around £1 on every pint going to the Treasury in beer duty and VAT, CAMRA has reacted to today’s news by urging its 136,000 members and all pub goers to sign an industry backed e-petition to remove the beer duty escalator - www.camra.org.uk/saveyourpint

The e-petition has today been backed by CAMRA, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

With the beer and pub industry supporting almost 1 million jobs and contributing £21 billion to UK GDP, CAMRA has condemned the government for imposing punitive successive tax increases, which will impact both breweries at production level, and drinkers at the bar.

Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive, said: "The fact Britons are forced to pay over 40% of the EU beer tax bill, but consume only 13% of the beer sold in Europe, is remarkable. British beer in a pub is so heavily hit with duty and VAT, the tax man’s whirlwind hikes translate to him guzzling a third of every pint served, a shadow cast over the beer drinker depriving people of an affordable night down their local.

"Such high taxes on beer are totally unsustainable, and therefore CAMRA is launching a consumer fight back in a bid to make the Government see sense. We today urge all beer drinkers to visit here to get behind this new industry-backed e-petition to help safeguard the future of the beer and pub industry."


The beer duty escalator increases beer tax by 2% above inflation every year, and is currently in place until 2014/15. Today’s further increase of 5% in beer duty means that beer duty has increased by over 40% since 2008. This new increase will result in a 5-10p increase in the price of a pint sold in the pub. Duty and VAT are more than £1 for a 5% beer sold at £3 in the pub.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ChorltongalMarch 22nd 2012.

This well and truly p!sses me off! They should be decreasing the beer duty and encouraging people back into pubs not increasing it. Instead, they should tax supermarket sold beer and alcohol more heavily as its a proven fact people drink more when at home behind closed doors. In one swoop this would protect jobs in our pubs whilst reducing the overall amount of alcohol consumed by Joe Public. Pubs are natural regulators of the amounts of alcohol people consume with responsible bar tenders refusing to serve someone who looks too squiffy and your peers looking on disapprovingly when you slide off your bar stool and into oblivion... Who is there to watch your consumption of super cheap, super strong, supermarket bought beer at home?

AND another thing, there should be some sort of tax break for artisan beers and ciders produced in the UK, especially the traditional ales which generally speaking are less strong than a pint of wife-beater. Have you ever heard of a massive brawl at a traditional beer festival? Nope, just a load of smelly farts and slightly tipsy bearded men. (not that I am accusing Camra members of being smelly or bearded, I like real ale and am currently neither bearded or tipsy... have been known to do the odd smelly fart though!)

DavidMarch 22nd 2012.

The people urging the government to put more and more taxes on alcohol are the doctors.Of course the government is more than have happy with any excuse to put up taxes,as they just want the money.The same thing happened with so called green taxes.

What do they need all this money for?..To pay pay for the massive salary increases Gordon Brown gave the doctors.There are plenty of fat cat doctors these days.Its also a profession well known for having more than its fair share of drunks,but the price of alcohol is not really a problem for them.

It would be much better to cut taxes on alcohol in pubs as it would create employment,and instead slash the bloated wages in the health service.The one area of spending that seems to be excused any cuts.Yet we have Hospitals with third world levels of cleanliness,because stafff not wash hands properly.

AnonymousMarch 22nd 2012.

Its not just beer the escalator applies to wine as well.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John O'DonnellMay 2nd 2012.

Sorry - you're wrong - it's only beer where taxes are predetermined to rise above inflation year on year. That's why it's called the the "Beer Duty Escalator".

AnonymousMarch 22nd 2012.

Totally agree with CHORLTONGAL. Not too interested in the CAMRA angle (!) on this, I don't have to drink real ale to enjoy a pint, but surely the imbalance of duty and tax applied to alcohol sold in a pub compared to the supermarket is more of a social tax for people that wouldn't mind venturing out of their house for a couple of hours?
As opposed to some politicians, doctors and newspapers view on pubs, some of us don't just go there to give hospital staff more work to do, it's a chance to catch up with friends and have a chat on an otherwise non-event Tuesday night and maybe, just maybe, have an alcoholic drink while we're at it.
Given that nowadays you can get a reasonable bottle of wine for a fiver from a supermarket, or pay over £3.50 for a pint of lager at a local pub, sooner or later you're going to come to the conclusion that you may as well just stay in.

DavidMarch 23rd 2012.

Government could not care less about the effects of drinking,this is all about the revenue from taxes.Anyway it could be argued as drinkers tend to die younger,they actually save the country money.No need to pay state pensions to them.
If pubs do close where are people going to go in the evening to meet people?.I think that the coffee shops are missing a trick.Why do they all close at 7pm?.This is not the case in other countries like Morocco,where they open till midnight.

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