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A freeze on alcohol duty in pubs announced in the Autumn Statement came into effect from 1 February
An estimated 38,000 pubs will benefit from the freeze which will see small cuts to prices paid in pubs.
The six-month duty freeze, from 1 February to 1 August 2024, follows reform of alcohol duties last August which simplified the system so the duty paid reflects the amount of alcohol in the drink. This measure will cost £310m over the period.
This will cut duty on pints in pubs by up to 11p compared with the price in supermarkets. Not increasing alcohol duty in line with inflation will save 3p of duty on a typical pint of beer, 2p on a pint of cider, 4p on a glass of whisky, and 18p on a bottle of wine.
The announcement comes after rises in alcohol prices were one of the main factors pushing up inflation to 4% last month.
Andy Slee, chief executive of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) said: ‘While trading has been tough for pubs and independent breweries, the government’s continued support is very welcome. The beer duty freeze for six months provides some certainty for brewers as the new alcohol duty system is embedded.
‘As part of this, the government introduced draught relief allowing beer destined for the pub to have a lower rate - and already there are signs that this is working to support pubs.’
The move came as UKHospitality called for urgent action in the Budget to support the industry, including a lower rate of VAT, addressing business rates increases due in April and wider reform of business rates.
Gareth Davies, Exchequer secretary to the Treasury said: ‘The great British pub remains a critical part of communities across the country, that’s why we’re helping to keep costs low by freezing alcohol duty, reducing business rates, and supporting on energy costs.
‘Our decisive action has also helped to more than halve inflation last year, protecting pubs and other businesses from the higher costs they would have otherwise faced.’
The freeze will end on 1 August 2024.
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