With the Chancellor's Budget just over a month away, CAMRA is ramping up its campaign to call on the government to keep the price of your pint down.
CAMRA is leading the campaign by calling on the Treasury to reduce beer duty by 1p ahead of the Budget on the 8th March. With inflation expected to rise in the next year, the cut will help to cap the price of beer, keeping more money in consumers' pockets and helping the pubs and brewing sector to grow.
Beer duty campaigners have had some success in recent years with three consecutive penny cuts to duty and a subsequent freeze, however the UK is still paying among the highest rate of beer duty in Europe at 52.2p on the pint. This compares to other big brewing nations which pay a tenth less than UK beer drinkers such as Germany and Spain, who enjoy their beer at under 5p of duty on a pint.
The three cuts in duty have been good news for drinkers, publicans and the Treasury. Not only has the price of beer been contained, but the beer, brewing and pubs sector now support nearly 900,000 UK jobs, and contributes £23.6bn to the economy every year. CAMRA believes a further cut would only help encourage investment, protect jobs and improve confidence in the sector.
CAMRA is also particularly concerned that more people are now buying their beer from the supermarket rather than the pub, choosing to drink at home rather than socialise with their friends in their local.
In an effort to help pubs, CAMRA is calling for a reduction of up to £5000 in business rates for pubs in England which would allow pub owners to reinvest the additional funds back into the business.
Colin Valentine, CAMRA's National Chairman says: "It is clear that previous cuts to beer duty have benefitted beer drinkers and supported significant growth in the brewing industry. However, we as a nation are still paying a notable amount - especially in comparison to our European neighbours.
At the same time, pubs are confronted with higher taxation and cost, despite the vital role that they play in bringing our communities together and ensure we are drinking responsibly.
We are simply calling for fairer measures for beer drinkers and publicans in our asks to government. I hope the Chancellor will take all of this into consideration when deciding this Budget."