Breweries and DistilleriesCoronavirusNews

BBPA urges government to defer Beer Duty and support brewing industry

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) is calling on the UK government to defer payments of Beer Duty amid the ongoing pandemic.

With 70% of the UK beer market now cut-off, the association has called for the deferral of payments due on 25 April, relating to beer produced in March when pubs were forced to shut down overnight. 

The association estimates that 3 million kegs and casks of beer are produced and sold in pubs each month. As the vast majority of beer produced for March can no longer be sold, the duty bill due on 25 April, costing approximately £300m, should be deferred.

In addition, the group is also calling for a deferment of beer duty for the April to June quarter, which is estimated to cost £750m. 

The association has called for the deferments to be made “as a matter of urgency”, in order to provide vital cashflow to support brewers across the UK. 

While the group has “warmly welcomed” government support for the pub industry, it says there has been less support for the breweries that supply pubs, who have now seen a “huge part of their market wiped out”. 

With pubs forced to cease trading, the group estimates that 70% of the UK beer market is now cut-off to brewers, and increased sales to supermarkets is not compensating for this loss.

The deferral would help brewers to “get back on their feet” and be ready to supply pubs once the UK is through the crisis, argues the BBPA.

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “The UK government has rightly announced various measures to help our sector, which we warmly welcome. 

“However, with pubs being forced to close overnight, 70% of the UK’s beer market by value has been shut off – devastating breweries across the UK.” 

She added: “Sales of beer in off licenses and supermarkets simply cannot make that gap up.

“The Chancellor has said he will do ‘whatever it takes’, and for brewers this means an immediate deferment of the April beer duty payment for beer produced in March, and a deferment for the whole of the next of the quarter too.”

Back to top button