High strength beers to get tax whammy

30 November, 2010

The Government has said it will increase the tax on high-strength beer and cut duty on lower abv beer from late 2011.

It will set out the new rates for beers of more than 7.5% abv and less than 2.8% abv in budget on March 23, 2011.

Treasury minister Justine Greening said in a written statement to parliament: “The government recognises that in some areas taxation can have a role in helping to address the harms associated with problem drinking."

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We are pleased that the Government has decided to reduce duty for beer below 2.8% abv. This will provide a welcome incentive for further investment in these beers, and encourage people to choose lower-strength drinks.

“However, when it comes to the increase in duty on higher-strength beers, these account for less than 0.5% of total alcohol sales, and less than 1% of beer sales. Duty rates remain untouched for higher strength drinks such as spirits and wine.

“Overall, we need a duty system that nudges consumers to choose lower-strength, pub-based drinks such as beer."

Bookmark this

Site Search


English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

Click for more »
Upcoming events


Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know