As newly published Government figures show an impressive leap in Britain’s beer exports, British Beer & Pub Association Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds says that the iconic sector can help towards an export led recovery, and now is not the time to load extra tax burdens on British brewers.
Despite the tough economic climate, beer exports were up by 24% in 2010, increasing in value to over half a billion pounds (?544 million), according to the new HM Revenue & Customs export data. The rise equates to 230 million extra pints of British beer exported.
However, the BBPA is warning that Government plans for huge beer tax rises in the Budget on 23rd March would be a major blow to further growth, investment and innovation in a sector on which over 70,000 UK jobs depend, which has witnessed a huge growth in the number of breweries in recent years.
BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
“These huge increases in beer exports are something to proud of. There is nothing to match the unique taste and variety of British beer, and overseas beer drinkers clearly have a growing taste for it. With UK exports so vital to our economic recovery, the huge growth in the number of breweries in Britain means we are sowing the seeds now for the British export champions of the future.
“However, punitive new taxes from the Government, which plans a seven per cent tax in beer duty this March, will hold us back. We need a climate that encourages the innovation and investment that will ensure future export growth. Huge rises in beer taxes will have the opposite effect.”
UK Beer Exports 2009: 5,486,368 hl
UK Beer Exports 2010: 6,797,422 hl
Increase: 1,311,054 hl (up 24 per cent)
Value of Exports: ?544 million (up 18 per cent)
1 hectolitre equals 176 pints. Exports will include intra-company trade.
The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and own nearly two thirds of Britain’s 52,500 pubs.
According to a study published in February by Oxford Economics for the BBPA, 72,000 UK jobs depend on the brewing industry and a million jobs on beer and pubs as a whole.
The BBPA submission on the Government’s Budget plans and proposed Beer Tax rises, is available on the BBPA website. Key highlights:
• Scrapping plans for above inflation duty increases would save over 10,000 jobs (Oxford Economics)
• Freezing duty would generate up to ?40 million in extra tax revenues.
• The recent VAT rise will encourage drinking at home, and results in the loss of over 8,000 beer-related jobs.
(Source: British Beer & Pub Association)