Lower duty on draught beer, says pub body

20 March, 2009

Pub trade leaders are asking the Chancellor to consider making duty lower on draught beers than on packaged alternatives.

The two-tier tax system is seen as a way for the on-trade to become more price competitive with the take-home sector.

Forty-one per cent of beer volumes now go through the off-trade, according to Nielsen, and with the on-trade beer market declining at 9% a year it seems certain that supermarkets and off-licences will soon sell the lion's share of beer in Britain.

The British Beer & Pub Association has called on Treasury officials to consider reduced excise duty on draught, according to OLN's sister title the Morning Advertiser.

Twenty-one MPs have already signed an Early Day Motion for lower duty on draught beer and cider.

The BBPA has suggested reduced VAT for on-sales operators, but there is nervousness in the trade about the principle of minimum pricing - an idea floated this week by chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson but quickly dismissed by Gordon Brown.

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