Press release

Last orders on beer tax cheered by Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis welcomes the Chancellor’s call for last orders on the beer tax.

Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis today welcomed the Chancellor’s call for last orders on the beer tax that has raised the cost of a pint by 42% since 2008 and put unnecessary pressure on community pubs and their loyal patrons.

The British Beer & Pub Association have stated that freezing the tax would protect 10,000 jobs, particularly among people aged under-25 who account for 45% of the industry’s workforce.

So the announcement to also cut ‘a penny off a pint’ will be welcome news to the industry and campaigners, who have spoken out against the unpopular beer duty escalator which increased the cost of a beer by 2% above inflation every year, or around 6 pence.

Pubs are at the heart of local communities and this Government is determined to help them thrive and grow. In addition to their important social role, our pubs pack a powerful economic punch contributing to the local economy and providing a local source of jobs.

Community Pubs Minster Brandon Lewis said:

“Calling time on the unpopular beer tax and cutting a penny off a pint is great news for pubs and punters alike. We’ve already doubled small business rate relief for three and half years and given communities the power to save local pubs from closure by taking them over and running them as cooperatives. And today’s announcement gives people yet another good reason to get behind their community pub and raise a glass to their local.”

Supporting community pubs

The Localism Act enables community groups to bid to buy community buildings and facilities that are important to them. This gives communities the power to save struggling local pubs by taking them over rather than seeing them empty and derelict. In addition to this the Department announced £150,000 to Pub is the Hub to support community pubs to innovate expand their services and offer more to the local community. The Government is also:

  • doubling small business rate relief from £6,000 to £12,000 for 3 and half years and ensuring rural rate relief is available to public houses
  • enabling councils to introduce local business rates discounts to support local businesses, through powers handed to them in the Localism Act.

Notes to editors

More information on the budget announcement.