“From 1 August taxes on draft products in public houses 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 sceptically. 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.
Whiskey distiller severely disappointed
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.
However, the country’s whiskey distillers were anything but satisfied. According to the Scotch Whiskey Association (SWA), the tax hike that would hit them is the biggest in decades. It is “deeply disappointing that one of Scotland’s largest and oldest industries has been treated in this way,” said association chief executive Mark Kent, according to the British PA news agency. According to this, 75 percent of the retail price of a bottle of whiskey will go to the Ministry of Finance in the future.
Austria calls for tax cuts
In Great Britain, the number of Beisln 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.
In Austria, the brewery association recently called for the tax on draft beer to be reduced. The reason was host criticism, according to which the beer was sold by the breweries to bars too expensive compared to supermarkets.