Pints will STILL get more expensive despite beer duty cut

Pints will STILL get more expensive despite beer duty cut
Pints will STILL get more expensive despite beer duty cut

Pints will still get more expensive even after the Chancellor's five per cent beer duty cut - with a pub boss warning it would only 'take the top off' a 30p price rise due to inflation. 

Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame, said the company would pass on the 3p a pint duty cut on kegs it sells to pubs but this would do little to ease the hit on drinkers' wallets. 

Rishi Sunak also announced a planned increase to the duty on spirits, wine, cider and beer will be cancelled while the 'irrational' 28 per cent duty on premium sparkling wines like prosecco and fruit ciders will be cut. 

Rishi Sunak today unveiled a major overhaul of the UK's alcohol taxes as he cut the price of a pint of draught beer and cider by three pence. He is pictured with Boris Johnson at a brewery in Bermondsey, London this afternoon

Rishi Sunak today unveiled a major overhaul of the UK's alcohol taxes as he cut the price of a pint of draught beer and cider by three pence. He is pictured with Boris Johnson at a brewery in Bermondsey, London this afternoon

How will the cost of YOUR drink go up or down?

- Echo Falls Zinfandel rose wine: 23p less tax on a bottle in shops.

- Stella Artois: 3p less tax on a draught pint in the pub, no change in shops.

- Guinness: 3p less tax on a pint in the pub, no change in shops. 

- Strongbow: 2p less tax on a pint in the pub, 0.5p less tax in shops. 

- Strongbow Dark Fruits: 13p less tax on a pint in the pub, 1p less tax in shops.

- Hardy's VR Merlot red wine: 35p more tax on a bottle in shops. 

- Canti Prosecco: 87p less tax on a bottle in shops.  

- Harvey's Sherry: 51p more tax on a bottle in shops. 

- Taylor's Port: £1.09 more tax on a bottle in shops. 

- Smirnoff Vodka: No change on a bottle in shops. 

- Bailey's Irish Cream: 41p less tax on a bottle in shops.  

Source: HM Treasury 

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Responding to the news, Mr Neame told Radio 4's Today programme: 'We will pass on the duty cut at a wholesale, but in all honesty, pubs are facing between 25 to 30p per pint inflation and this will do will take the top off that. 

'It will reduce the rate of increase, but there is roughly 14% inflation impacting most hospitality businesses, so while I'd love to say the price of beer come down its very hard to see that because a lot of inflation is still coming down the track in terms of energy and food etc. 

'At the moment there are terrific supply chain squeezes that most people anticipate will last for six to nine months, and hopefully afterwards inflation will start to ease off.'

Most pubs will also benefit from £7billion worth of cuts to business rates, including the cancellation of next year's increase in the rates multiplier and a 50% cut in the total bill. 

Mr Neame welcomed the move but argued there was more to be done. 

'It won't help Shepherd Neame so much as a multi-site operator but it will help our tenanted licensees which are two-thirds of our pubs,' he said. 'It's a great benefit for them, and it's also a great benefit because it stimulates investment - as before rates would go up when you invested. 

'I think what has been missed here though is the chance for fundamental reform on rates. This is a medieval tax that doesn't balance out the overall economic activity between the digital and non-digital world, and too much is being borne but hospitality and retail at the moment.' 

The teetotal Chancellor used his Budget to set out a new Draught Relief policy which will see beer and cider duty reduced by five per cent. 

He said that amounted to the biggest cut on the tax on beer in 50 years and the 'biggest cut to cider duty since 1923'. 

He also announced a planned increase to the duty on spirits, wine, cider and beer will be cancelled while the 'irrational' 28 per cent duty on premium sparkling wines like prosecco and fruit ciders will be cut.     

What are the main changes to the alcohol tax system and how will prices change?

- Duty rates for draught beer and cider will be cut by five per cent - taking three pence off a pint. 

- Duty rate on draught fruit cider will be equalised with beer, cutting the rate on fruit cider by 20 per cent, taking 13 pence off a pint.

- All products will be taxed according to their Alcohol By Volume (ABV), cutting duty on lighter wines and cider. Tax on a 10.5% bottle of Rose will decrease by 23 pence per bottle. But the levy on white ciders and stronger still wines will go up.  

- Sparkling wine will be taxed at the same rate as still wine, ending the 28 per cent premium currently applied to the product. 

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However, the Chancellor's plan to simplify the alcohol duty system - which he said was made possible by Brexit - will see some drinks become more expensive, with red wine drinkers among those hit.

Mr Sunak said that under his new system - which will be rolled out in February 2023 - the stronger the drink, the higher the rate of tax will be.  

That will also mean less-strong drinks like rose wine and liqueurs, which are currently 'over taxed', will become cheaper.

Mr Sunak and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson marked the announcements by visiting Fourpure Brewing Company in Bermondsey, central London, this afternoon as they poured pints and saw the brewing process. 

Hospitality bosses welcomed the changes announced by Mr Sunak. 

They said pubs, brewers and beer drinkers 'will be toasting the Chancellor' for bringing forward a 'range of business-boosting measures'.   

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: 'Pubs, brewers and beer drinkers will be toasting the Chancellor today for a range of business-boosting measures.

'Pub goers will also be toasting the Chancellor today for announcing a five per cent lower duty rate on draught beer worth £62million.

'This is great news for our local pubs and recognises the crucial role they play in our economy and society.

'However, the overall beer duty rate in the UK remains amongst the highest in Europe.

'It is vital for Britain's brewers, a world class homegrown manufacturing success story, that the overall beer duty burden is reduced – not just duty on draught beer in pubs.'

Mr Sunak said that under his new system - which be rolled out in February 2023 - the stronger the drink, the higher the rate of tax will be

 Mr Sunak said that under his new system - which be rolled out in February 2023 - the stronger the drink, the higher the rate of tax will be

The Chancellor said the Draught Relief amounts to the biggest cut on the tax on beer in 50 years and the 'biggest cut to cider duty since 1923'

The Chancellor said the Draught Relief amounts to the biggest cut on the tax on beer in 50 years and the 'biggest cut to cider duty since 1923'

‘At last, ministers pay attention to the plight of pubs’

Pub owner Ian Howarth, 45, (pictured) said the Budget would go some way to help his business following a ‘disastrous two years’

Pub owner Ian Howarth, 45, (pictured) said the Budget would go some way to help his business following a ‘disastrous two years’

Pub landlord Ian Howarth said measures in the Budget would go some way to help his business following a ‘disastrous two years’ in which he lost more than £150,000 – but wants them to be implemented sooner.

Mr Howarth, 45, said ‘wet-led’ pubs like his that rely entirely on the sale of drinks had been left behind during the pandemic – particularly when hospitality premises could only open if serving meals.

He believes the promise of a 50 per cent reduction in business rates and a 5 per cent cut in the duty on draught beer and cider shows the Government is ‘finally’ paying attention.

Mr Howarth, who runs the Queen’s Head in Buxton, Derbyshire, said: ‘For once it looks like wet-led businesses are finally being listened to. We’re out of pocket by over £150,000 – but in terms of loss of earnings we’re probably down by £750,000.

‘Because we make 70 per cent from draught beer and cider, the recent announcement will go some way to fill the gaps left by Covid.’

However, Mr Howarth, whose family have owned the Queen’s Head since 1967, said pubs were ‘desperate’ for the help to come imminently rather than in 2023.

He added: ‘We’re really on our

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