UK pub beer sales down 7.5%

Total beer sales in the UK were down 3.9 per cent last year - the sixth decline in a row - with on-trade sales down 7.5 per cent at a time when off-trade witnessed a 0.6 per cent increase, according to the latest UK Quarterly Beer Barometer from the British Beer & Pub Association.

Largely as a result of the beer tax increases to date, the UK Government collected £257 million less than at 2009 volumes, it states, adding that there’s no scope for further Government beer tax hikes.

Pub beer sales have fallen by a dramatic 20.2 per cent in the past three years alone, as tax rises have hit trade severely.
BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds commented, “Beer has always been a rich revenue source for Government – but they may now be cooking the golden goose. As beer duty has increased so dramatically over the last few years, the amount of beer produced and sold in Britain has fallen. /p>

“This has had a telling impact. With beer the core seller in pubs, the Government needs to pursue more pub-friendly tax policies. This would create a win-win situation, with a boost for lower-strength, pub-based drinks like beer, and more revenues for the Treasury.”

Two increases in VAT – first to 15 per cent in December 2009 and then to 20 per cent this month – have also hit prices.

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