From today taxes on beer, cider and spirits are frozen for another year keeping down the costs for industry and for the consumer.
Over the past six years, freezes and duty cuts have provided £4.4 billion of support to the pubs and drinks industry. Today a typical pint is 14p cheaper than if taxes had risen in line with inflation.
So head down to your local pub and raise a toast as Dry January ends and alcohol duties are frozen for another year. Local CAMRA members and pub landlords who have regularly emailed me on this issue - pat yourselves on the back.
The Chancellor of the Exchquer had this to say as he visited a brewery earlier today:
"In recognition of the important contribution of British pubs and drinks makers to our communities, I have frozen taxes on beer, cider and spirits again this year.
These duties would have otherwise come into effect today but instead we’re supporting an industry that employs 900,000 people across the UK. Whether it’s local pubs, craft cider mills or independent distillers, this government is helping these businesses to thrive and ensuring they remain at the heart of our economy."
As well as the duty freeze, the Treasury also announced at Budget that it will be looking at the Small Brewers Relief to make sure the scheme continues to support the country’s smallest beer makers, helping them to grow and expand into new markets. A survey asking small brewers for their views on the relief was launched this week. This will be going out to all UK HMRC registered brewers so be on the look out for your post.
In addition to pubs, the duty freeze on cider will support the economies of British rural communities and help fuel investment and innovation in whisky and gin producers.
Keeping duty down will also help businesses to expand and take advantage of exporting opportunities and build on previous successes, such as Scotch whisky exports which totalled over £4 billion in 2017 and the current ‘ginaissance’ occurring in England.