Survey suggests people would not be fans of a rise in Beer Duty
It’s almost March and that means we’re edging ever closer to the next Budget. What Gorgeous George has tucked away inside his little red box remains to be seen, but in an attempt to divert his attentions elsewhere, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has only gone and commissioned a YouGov poll to reveal the news that 72% of consumers support a freeze in beer duty.
However the poll asked 1,736 adults what they thought about beer duty. Over a third (37%) of respondents believed the amount of beer tax currently paid in Britain is unfair, and 20% of consumers deemed the current taxation level as ‘fair’. Almost half, therefore couldn’t decide whether beer duty was fair or unfair. Older consumers, and those living in the Midlands, Wales and the North of England were mostly likely to say that current taxation levels on beer are too high. The survey also discovered that, while the crushing majority were opposed to a rise in beer tax, claiming this was owing to concern for the pub trade rather than their pocket, a surprising 18% actually supported a tax rise to raise extra money for the Government. The remaining 10% were obviously too drunk to care.
Duty on beer is currently as much as 52p per pint for beer that’s 5% ABV and over, but in an attempt to woo the common man, George has actually cut the duty by 1p per pint during the last three Budget announcements.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: ‘This new poll shows the public understands how important pubs are to local people, and how a penny off a pint is the simplest and best way to give pubs a boost. George Osborne has been in tune with the public so far, with his three beer tax cuts saving pub-goers millions. He can keep up the good work, with another penny off a pint in the Budget.’
The survey also found that UK consumers don’t actually have the foggiest what the rate of beer duty currently is, and have no appreciation of how high the UK rate is when compared with our European neighbours. According to the BBPA, UK beer duty rates are on average three times higher than EU rates, and a whopping 13 times higher than in Germany, the largest beer market in Europe. Whilst 57% of people polled correctly thought UK beer tax is higher than in most countries in Europe, 18% believed it was the same or less, with the remaining quarter admitting they were totally clueless.