Pubs of Ulster comment on the budget

25 March 2015

Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Pubs of Ulster said:

“Pubs of Ulster welcomed the Budget announcement and the Chancellor’s decision to cut beer duty by a penny for the third year in a row”

“In practical terms this will not necessarily translate into a direct reduction in the price of a pint but it does offset some of the increases that come from suppliers at this time of year and helps keep that increase down.

Most publicans will try not to pass supplier increases on to their customers but some simply have no choice.

Where we would see a difference in people’s pockets however would be if the rate of VAT rate for businesses in the tourism sector was reduced. That would be a larger cut so would carry more significant savings than the ‘penny off the pint’ type cuts and whilst it would not be a cut on alcohol prices it would be a cut on food and board. A VAT cut for the tourism sector in the Republic of Ireland has led to far more competitive prices for customers there and sadly Northern Ireland will always be competing with that unless the next UK Government makes a commitment to reduce the VAT rate for our tourism sector.”