Beer Duty Cut a Welcome Boost For Hospitality sector

18 March 2015

Industry body Pubs of Ulster has today welcomed news that beer duty is being cut by a penny in the Chancellor’s budget statement. This is the third year in the row that beer duty has been cut. The Chancellor said last year’s cut in beer duty helped to create around 16,000 jobs.

This latest cut offers a real boost to businesses in Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector with the cost of a pint now 10p cheaper that under the duty escalator. The cut follows a long-running campaign by the industry body to keep the duty on draft beer down.


Pubs of Ulster has steered a long-running campaign at Westminster calling for the duty on draft beer to be reduced because of its low ABV and the fact that it is unique to the hospitality sector.


Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, said:


“Pubs of Ulster welcomes today’s Budget announcement and the Chancellor’s decision to cut beer duty by a penny.  We have worked very hard with Northern Ireland’s MPs to demonstrate that draft beer is unique to the hospitality sector and carries a lower alcohol content than most other alcoholic beverages.


“This announcement follows months of lobbying those MPs and indeed it shows the strength of our MPs that they have significant influence at Westminster which can be used to help NI hospitality businesses.


“This influence will be more keenly felt if we have a hung Parliament following the general election. It illustrates the potential that our MPs have at Westminster under the next Government which will be relying on smaller parties to push through legislation. Our MPs must harness that considerable influence to support business in Northern Ireland.”


The hospitality and tourism sector employs approximately 43,000 people in Northern Ireland and measures such as low beer duty help business maintain those levels of employment and also keep prices lower for customers.  Colin Neill added:


“It is regrettable that the Chancellor has not taken the opportunity to reduce the rate of VAT for the tourism sector in his budget. Tourism is a crucial economic driver and it is essential that Northern Ireland is able to compete with the Republic of Ireland where the rate of VAT for businesses in the tourism sector is considerably lower.”


Pubs of Ulster is calling upon local MPs to ensure that Northern Ireland’s voice continues to be heard at Westminster through our campaign on a cut to the rate of VAT for the Tourism sector.