Marketing

European brewers welcome UK beer tax cut

The Brewers of Europe has welcomed the recent announcement by British Chancellor George Osborne that beer taxes will be cut for the third year running.

The abolition of the so-called “beer duty escalator” (a previous system whereby beer tax was increased by a defined rate above inflation year-on-year) and a beer tax cut in 2013 and 2014 had already secured 16,000 jobs. What this latest announcement shows to other EU governments is that a watertight case can be made for beer tax cuts as a means of stimulating investment, growth, jobs and ultimately new tax revenues for the government too.

Beer generates over two million jobs across the EU and there are now well over 5,000 breweries across the Continent. The sector went through tough times after 2008, with EU consumption dropping 8% in just two years and the hospitality sector particularly suffering. At the same time many governments were increasing beer tax in order to try and quickly gather money to plug gaps in their national budgets.

However, increasingly, governments such as in Denmark and the UK are also looking at the positive contribution the beer sector makes to growth, jobs and tax revenues.

Hitting the beer sector with punitive taxes not only hurts the breweries but also hurts the wider economy.

Tax cuts, on the other hand, can boost the beer sector, support the brewing value chain and help beer support the overall economy. Italian Brewers managed to avert one tax hike in 2014 but were then hit with a new one on 1st January. That’s why the Italian Brewers this week launched a new campaign to help its consumers understand just how much of the cost of their beer is going to the tax authorities and the threat this poses to the sustainability of Italy’s burgeoning beer culture.

For these reasons The Brewers of Europe strongly encourages EU Member States including Ireland to consider the positive contribution that beer provides to the economy and choose an excise system that’s supportive to beer, recognises the specifics of the beer category and enables beer to help stimulate economic recovery.

The Brewers of Europe strongly encourages EU Member States including Ireland to consider the positive contribution that beer provides to the economy and choose an excise system that’s supportive to beer, recognises the specifics of the beer category and enables beer to help stimulate economic recovery.

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