Customers dealt another blow as tax on alcohol faces significant increase from Tuesday 1st August

01 August 2023

Customers dealt another blow as tax on alcohol faces significant increase from Tuesday 1st August

Hospitality Ulster has said that significant increases in duty on alcohol from today is bad news for customers, leaving hospitality business no choice but to pass on the government enforced crippling hikes.

The 1st August will see the biggest single alcohol duty increase in almost 50 years, outlined by the Chancellor in the Spring Budget earlier this year.

This has been exacerbated by the new way duty on alcohol will be calculated from today which is now measured by ABV – the alcohol content in a drink – which means products which previously had a low duty rate will see greater increases.

The hike comes at a time when inflationary pressures, not to mention other taxes such as exorbitant rates, National Insurance Contributions and a 12% added tax on top of insurance policies such as public liability are in place before a hospitality business even opens their doors.

Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster said today:

“The immediate future remains challenging, and it is vital that we ensure our valued customers understand the price increases are down to the Government - not the hospitality businesses.”

“This has left hospitality business - who are fighting to breakeven - no choice but to pass on the significant duty increases to customers. This is heaping misery on customers and will damage hospitality businesses at the same time.”

“Instead of providing relief in a period of much need, the government continues to exacerbate the sector’s struggle, loading inflationary pressures on businesses who are grappling with soaring electricity costs, labour shortages and a protracted cost of living crisis.”

“This is not a time for increases and many would be shocked at the breakdown of the price of a drink, for example, of which over one third of a typical pint is on tax alone. Take away the overheads for labour and bills and a publican is only making around 50p on a pint. That’s just not sustainable at a time when costs are rising all around us.”

“The hospitality sector is one of the highest taxed and undervalued sectors in the UK, but we will continue to work in partnership with UK Hospitality to press the British government to recognise the importance of the industry.”