In 2013, the Government took the decision to end the beer duty escalator, and beer duty has been frozen or cut several times since then. Duty on spirits has been frozen over the past two years. As a result of these changes, a typical pint is cheaper than it would have been had these measures not been introduced.
I welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that, for the second year running, alcohol duties will be frozen, covering duty on spirits, beer, wine, and cider which will save drinkers £1.7 billion. I am encouraged that the Government and the Treasury recognise the importance of supporting our pubs and keeping costs down for customers. I welcome the Chancellor’s commitment in the recent Budget to extend this support. There is a broad recognition of the need to reform the current duty system to support the alcoholic drinks and pubs sector in the longer term, and on 1 October, a call for evidence for reform of Alcohol Duty was published.
I understand that pubs were subject to debilitating restrictions for a long time, and I hear requests for a longer-term sector-specific package of support. That is why I am assured that the Government has provided unprecedented levels of support throughout the pandemic and, building on this, has published long-term strategies to help the hospitality sector and our high streets to recover with more resilience.
I hope this is of reassurance, and thank you again for your interest in this issue.