Budget 2017: Drinkers “let down” by beer duty rise

A pint of beer

A pint of beer - Credit: Archant

The St Albans-based Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has said drinkers have been “let down” after the Chancellor’s Budget added 2p to the price of a pint.

Phillip Hammond’s increase is the first rise in beer duty in five years.

CAMRA national chairman Colin Valentine said: “The rise in beer duty will ultimately hit consumers in their pockets and lead to pub closures across the country.

“The government’s U-turn on beer duty is a real missed opportunity to support consumers.

“The UK still pays one of the highest rates of duty across Europe, only consuming around 12 per cent of the beer yet paying nearly 40 per cent of all beer duty in the EU.”

But CAMRA has welcomed the announcement that pubs with a rateable value of under £100,000 will receive a £1,000 discount on their rates bill.

St Albans has been a focus of national media attention for the past few months after local publicans launched the Save St Albans Pubs campaign opposing the rate rises.

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Mr Valentine said: “The announcement of a new rate relief for pubs in England is a ground-breaking step which recognises both the importance of pubs and the unfair impact of the business rate system on pubs.”

The group now want the discount made permanent, and extended in future Budgets.