: Shake-up in U.K. alcohol tax designed to support pubs but also encourage healthier drinking

by | Aug 1, 2023 | Stock Market

Britain’s beleaguered pubs are getting a summertime boost after the U.K. government said it would use tax freedoms afforded by Brexit to reduce the relative tariffs on beer poured from the bar. In what the government claimed on Tuesday was the biggest change in the alcohol duty system in 140 years, starting from August 1st a new system of taxing drinks by their strength would be introduced and smaller brewers would get support.

The move to apply duties relative to alcoholic content is designed to encourage healthier drinking and would see taxes rise on stronger wines and spirits but will fall on lower alcohol drinks, like some beers and sparkling wine. Alcohol duties have been frozen since the pandemic in 2020, and the upshot of the new regime is that duty will increase overall. But crucially for Britain’s 38,000 pubs and bars a middling-strength pint of beer will be 4 pence cheaper than the equivalent from a shop, a discount “designed to help pubs compete on a level playing field with supermarkets, so they can continue to thrive at the heart of communities across the U.K.,” the government said. The three alcohol duty changes that …

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