This Budget has been one that is both disappointing and damaging for the beer industry. Despite calls from the industry for the Chancellor to cut beer duty, we have been ignored and beer drinkers are now facing a 3% increase in beer duty.
This is a huge setback for the brewing and pub industries, which employ around 900,000 people and are already under immense pressure in an ever-competitive environment. Our question to Mr Hammond is simple: how do you expect one of the nation’s strongest and much loved industries to thrive when faced with this adversity? Analysis from Oxford Economics shows that an increase in duty doesn’t create a pot of gold and would in fact put an estimated 5,300 jobs in jeopardy. With this in mind, we find it hard to justify the added pressure from the Government on our industry, which has shaken confidence and removed any reassurance for the future when it is needed most.