Cut VAT for England fans paying £65,000 a minute in beer taxes

Embargoed: 00:01 Saturday 10 July 2021


With England supporters ready to enjoy a pint watching the Euro 2020 final tomorrow, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has revealed that fans are paying around £64,884 per minute in taxes on beer.

Using estimates from England’s semi-final game against Denmark, the campaign group found that if the current 5 per cent reduced rate of VAT were extended to alcohol, supporters would have saved over £3 million on the price of pints during the match. The TPA previously found that extending the VAT cut to April 2023 and including alcohol would save drinkers and diners a total of £15.7 billion.

Analysis reveals that almost one third of the cost of a pint is tax (£1.15), with punters paying £0.53 per pint in beer duty and £0.62 per pint in VAT. The UK has the highest beer duty of all the countries England has played in the tournament, and third-highest compared to EU countries. The tax is almost three times higher than England’s trophy rivals Italy, and over 13 times higher than Germany’s.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance is calling on the chancellor to support fans enjoying the final on Sunday and give a helping hand to our hard-hit hospitality industry, by including alcohol in the VAT cut and extending it to April 2023.


Key findings:


  • At £0.53 per pint, the UK has the highest beer duty of any EU member country which England has played in Euro 2020. This is greater than Sweden’s; more than double Italy’s; more than triple Denmark’s; more than quadruple Croatia’s; and six times more than the Czech Republic’s.

  • It was estimated that 6.8 million pints would be drunk during England’s semi-final match against Denmark, raising £25,092,000 for the hospitality sector. However, £3,604,000 of this will be for beer duty and £4,182,000 for VAT. Together, this means 31 per cent of the value of pints sold or £7,786,000 will have been paid in taxes.

  • When compared to EU member states, the UK has the third highest beer duty per pint with only Finland (£0.92) and Ireland (£0.57) charging more.

  • Since 2010, beer duty has increased by 10.2 per cent. Without this levy, the average cost of a pint would be reduced from £3.69 to £3.16.


John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Football might be coming home, but the taxes on pints are going through the roof.

“With England fans backing the squad with a beer in hand, a tax cut on alcohol would be a massive win for punters and pubs.

“The chancellor should now do his bit and bung booze into the VAT cut.”



TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Media contact:

Danielle Boxall
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
[email protected]
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Notes to editors:

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.

  3. The TaxPayers’ Alliance has called for the government to extend the 5 per cent VAT reduction until April 2023, and include alcoholic drinks.
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.  More info. Okay