Beer duty hike would hit industry investment


Embargoed until Tuesday 14th November at 00:01

Beer duty hike would hit industry investment

  • The beer industry in the UK has invested billions more since the beer duty escalator was scrapped in 2013.
  • Investment in 2016 was £1.96 billion, which is £800 million more than in 2013.
  • 2013 was the year when the beer duty 'escalator' was scrapped and a planned 3p increase instead became a 1p cut.
  • Breweries alone are estimated to have invested £325 million.
  • The average brewer is making just one to two pence per pint in profit, compared to nearly £1 that goes to HM Treasury.
  • The pub sector is paying one pound in every three of total turnover in taxation
New research from the TaxPayers' Alliance shows how a massive injection of private investment into the beer industry followed the lowering of the tax burden in 2013. Thousands of jobs have also been created since George Osborne scrapped the escalator. 

Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, John O'Connell, said:

"Cutting taxes on beer has led to huge investment in industry, helping the economy, consumers and creating jobs. The beer industry is massively over-taxed, and any further increases would scare off further investment as well as risking thousands of jobs. Further cuts to beer duty would see even more investment in an important industry."

The paper features testimonials from breweries and companies. For instance, Brecon Brewing said:

"As a result [of scrapping the duty escalator], we’ve taken the decision to invest in our business, and have recently purchased a machine for bottling and kegging beers, which will enable us to supply UK customers and to approach other export markets with much more confidence."
TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Launch of the TaxPayers' Alliance's

pre-Budget #CutBeerTax Campaign

In advance of the Budget, the TaxPayers' Alliance will be running a high profile nationwide campaign calling on the Government to cut beer duty. The campaign will seek a reduction in beer duty from the Chancellor on November 22nd.

You are invited to attend our campaign launch party:


Date: Monday 13th November
Time: 4pm - 6pm
Venue: Function room (upstairs), Westminster Arms, 9 Storey's Gate, London SW1P 3AT

TaxPayers' Alliance Chief Executive, John O'Connell will unveil the new #CutBeerTax campaign at the launch party. He will be joined by supporters, figures from the brewing/hospitality industry and parliamentarians of all political colours. 

John O'Connell will be available for interview with broadcast, print and online media.

Please RSVP to

Media contacts

James Price
Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)

Notes to editors

1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, and now with 80,000 supporters, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) fights to reform taxes, reduce spending and protect taxpayers. Find out more about the TaxPayers' Alliance at
2. The beer duty escalator increased beer duty automatically by 2 per cent above inflation each year for five years until it was scrapped by George Osborne in 2013. 
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