Budget 2013 Beer Duty Escalator Scrapped

20 March 2013

Following today’s Budget announcement that the beer duty escalator will be scrapped and beer duty will be cut by 1p, Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, said:

“Pubs of Ulster welcomes today’s Budget announcement and the chancellor’s decision to scrap the beer duty escalator, as it marks a significant victory for the industry. 


“Pubs of Ulster has lobbied extensively to bring an end to the beer duty escalator - which allows duty to increase automatically by 2 per cent more than inflation every year.  Since 2008, the escalator has brought about a staggering 42% increase in taxation.  The impact on the industry each year has been significant, with many within the trade citing the escalator as a key contributor to pub closures.  As the representative body of the industry locally, Pubs of Ulster took the campaign to abolish the duty escalator to Westminster.  Following extensive discussions with our local MPs, the shadow pubs minister and the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pubs Group, the voice of the industry has been heard.


“Whilst we welcome today’s announcement and see it as a significant step forward, the end of the escalator doesn’t repair the damage already done to the trade over the last five years.  We must also remember that the chancellor still plans to increase all other alcohol duty and we can therefore expect an increase in the price of wine, spirits and cider. 


“However, we must recognise that today’s announcement could mark a turning point for the industry.  It also shows that Westminster has now recognised the value of the pub and the vital role it plays in the economy.  We would now call on Stormont to do the same.”