The quarterly ‘Beer Barometer’ has been published today by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), which claims the latest figures are proof that the Chancellor was right to cut beer tax in last month’s Budget. George Osborne cut a penny off the price of a pint of beer and scrapped the punitive Duty Escalator.
“We would hope to see the benefits in second quarter sales, where brewers, pubs and pub-goers will see Beer Tax rates at nearly seven per cent lower than they were due to be,” said the BBPA’s chief executive Brigid Simmonds.
“Beer has a very special place in pubs, and accounts for 68 per cent of pub drinks’ sales. The duty cut has seen brewers and pub companies passing on the reduction to customers. It will encourage brewers and pubs to invest and create jobs.
“Other measures in the Budget will also help pubs, and are a further recognition that the Government understands the importance of our sector. The changes to National Insurance were particularly helpful, as the pub trade largely comprises small businesses and employs around 600,000 people directly.”
Off trade sales were more stable, rising 0.1 per cent compared with the first quarter in 2012. But the decline in pub sales reflects the trend in recent years, says the BBPA.
Andrew Griffiths, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, added: “These figures show just how important it is that the Treasury supports the brewing industry.
"By scrapping the beer duty escalator and cutting beer duty for the first time since 1959, I am sure the Coalition Government is giving the brewing industry a shot in the arm and that this will lead to growth in the sector in the future.”