Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Beer tax and pub closures

The news that beer sales dropped in the second quarter of the year by nearly five and a half per cent has prompted the British Beer and Pub Association, the trade body representing brewers and pub companies, to call again for the automatic increase in beer duty in each year's Budget to be scrapped.

I agree that the escalator as it's called should be scrapped but not for the same reasons as the BBPA. I'm in favour of cutting and eventually removing all tax on beer for three reasons: like all indirect taxes, it hits people on lower incomes more than people on higher incomes; it does that even more on people with an alcohol problem without helping them; it would make beer cheaper for social drinkers like me. The BBPA argues that increases in beer duty mean job losses in breweries and pubs closing. I'm not sure either of those things is true. I'd like to see some evidence of a link, especially on the latter which is now accepted as an obvious fact by most people.

I've always thought that well-run breweries and pubs making and selling decent beer will do OK, even in a recession and a typical English summer, and those that aren't and don't won't. I believe it's called the market economy...

1 comment:

  1. I've long held the view that all indirect taxes are poll taxes in that they are the same whether you're on the dole or a multimillionaire.

    Taxation should be a way of raising revenue and not, as with beer taxes, a method of social control.