It’s safe to say that budget hour isn’t the most exciting time for MP’s or anyone; as Jeremy Hunt demonstrated.

 

George_osborneHowever, for the tax-burdened and battered British brewers and publicans, the news was positive.  Chancellor George Osborne delivered a second consecutive 1p a pint reduction in beer duty.

Larry Nelson, publisher of The Brewery Manual is quoted:

With a tip of the hat to Andrew Griffiths MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, Osborne said in his speech to the Commons:

 

‘And then there’s beer. I know the industry, led so ably by my Honourable Friend for Burton, have been campaigning for a freeze.

‘But beer duty next week will not be frozen.

‘It will be cut again by 1 pence.

Simon-Brewery_Manual‘Pubs saved. Jobs created. A penny off a pint for the second year running.’

The benefit pours throughout the supply chain aiding a declining industry on their long road to recovery and keeping the cost of a pint affordable in British pubs whilst supporting other retailers of alcohol according to HMRC.

The absence of the duty escalator, which would have remained in place for the coming year if not scrapped by the Chancellor in Budget 2013, also counts amongst today’s good news for the industry. If the escalator had remained in place, a pint of beer would have cost eight pence more than this time last year.

Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), said:

‘Camra is delighted to see the Chancellor implementing an unprecedented second consecutive cut of 1p in beer duty. This is not only about keeping the price of a pint affordable in British pubs but helping an industry which has been in overall decline continue on its long road to recovery’.

George_osborne.PintOsborne went further for whisky and other spirits, freezing their duty rates rather than raising them:

‘Scottish Whisky is a huge British success story,

‘To support that industry, instead of raising duties on whisky and other spirits, I am today going to freeze them.

‘And with some cider makers in the West Country hit hard by the recent weather, I am going to help them by freezing the duty on ordinary cider too.’

Larry Nelson translates the windfall for producers as thus:

‘A penny-a-pint decrease means that from 24th March ‘general’ beer duty, for beers over 2.8% abv up to 7.5% abv in strength and not produced by small breweries, will drop from £19.12 to £18.74 per hectolitre for each percent of alcohol.

‘No doubt many of our 160,000 members will be raising a glass to the Chancellor this evening to toast another brilliant Budget for British beer drinkers.’ Claimed Brenner.