On the day when Alastair Darling, not surprisingly, confirmed that he was not going to cut beer duty when VAT went back up to 17½%, thus effectively imposing a stealth increase of 8%, it’s a sobering thought that the beer and pub industry makes five times more money for the government than it does for brewers and pub companies.
Oxford Economics conducted a study for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) that compared the Government’s tax take on beer with the profits made by brewing and pub sector sales.That makes all the hard work by licensees seem really worthwhile.
The study showed that the total taxes, including excise, VAT employment and corporation taxes, raised by the Government from beer sales totals £7.2bn. The profits made by brewing and the pub sector amounted to just £1.4bn.
The total UK beer market generates £19bn. The Government takes 84% of the £8.6bn total tax and profit generated by beer sales.
Edit: I see that Irish finance minister Brian Lenihan has actually cut alcohol duties in an otherwise hard-hitting austerity budget.