The government has rejected the call for a blanket deferral of beer duty payments relating to beer produced in March, despite the BBPA, and other trade bodies, had called on the Government to defer April’s duty payment and those of the following quarter – totalling £750m – as a matter of urgency to provide vital cashflow support to the UK’s 2,000 brewers who supply the UK’s pubs.
BBPA said the relationship between pub and brewer is “symbiotic” with 70% of alcoholic drinks sold in pubs are beer, and with pubs now closed, 70% of the UK beer market by value has been cut-off to Britain’s 2,000 breweries.
The British Beer and Pub Association said if the government had deferred beer duty payments, it would have “better enabled brewers to get back on their feet and ready to resupply pubs after the Covid-19 crisis.”
It added that the decision taken will instead put all brewers under “even more financial strain.”
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “The government’s failure to defer beer duty is a huge blow to pubs and brewers. It will put brewers under even greater financial strain, meaning there is a real risk to their ability to resupply pubs when they can safely reopen after the coronavirus lockdown.
“The chancellor had said he will do ‘whatever it takes’ to help, so it’s a shame not to see him put his words into action. Beer is our national drink and a key UK manufacturing industry, whilst pubs are a key part of our national identity and culture. They need and deserve all the support the government can give then.”
She added: “Pubs and brewers will be left bitterly disappointed by this decision.”