To help ailing British pubs, the government freezes draft beer levies. "From 1 August taxes on draft products in pubs will be up to 11p lower than taxes in supermarkets," Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt told Parliament in London on Wednesday. "British ale may be warm, but taxes on a pint are frozen," Hunt said.
However, taxes on all other alcoholic beverages will increase by 10.1 percent in line with inflation, as previously planned. This is another reason why the industry reacted skeptically. The head of the British Beer and Pub Association, Emma McClarkin, spoke of a step in the right direction. Pubs could now hope for a boost in the summer. However, the measure in no way offsets the "disastrous effects of rising inflation and unfair energy contracts" on pubs and breweries, she said.
Hunt spoke of a "Brexit pub guarantee". The British exit from the EU made such an aid measure possible in the first place, he said. However, commentators pointed out that Brexit has hit the industry enormously, for example because cheaper workers from the EU can no longer be employed due to stricter immigration rules.
In Great Britain, the number of pubs has been falling significantly for years. Reasons include the high beer tax and the smoking ban, changed drinking habits and cheaper alcohol in the supermarket. The corona pandemic has exacerbated the problems. The exploding energy prices have added to the pub owners.
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