The Campaign for Real Ale in Northern Ireland is calling on the UK Government to consider cutting the tax charged on beer in order to help local pub and brewing businesses.
It comes as the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland has called for a cut in alcohol taxes in the forthcoming Budget – which is expected to be presented to Dáil Éireann in October – to help stop rural Irish pub closures.
CAMRA NI have made similar calls on the UK Government to take action on beer duty in order to help stem pub closures and to help the growing number of local brewers develop their businesses.
CAMRA Director for Northern Ireland Sarah Crawford said: “With 7 out of 10 drinks bought in pubs being beer, taking action on beer tax would be a huge benefit to pubs, beer drinkers and brewers across Northern Ireland.
“We’re also pushing for the Chancellor to use the next Budget to pave the way for introducing a lower rate of tax on beer served in pubs – helping to keep pubs competitive and to avoid people drinking excessively at home, with beer bought at below-cost prices from supermarkets.
“Pubs across NI are a key part of our social fabric, helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation – as well as being vital to the tourism sector. The Government must do everything it can to support them and to help keep pub-going and responsible drinking affordable.
“CAMRA is also continuing to work with brewing businesses and MLAs to secure much needed reform of licensing laws in a restored Assembly, so that local brewers can grow their businesses, get more of their beer sold locally and help make sure locals and visitors alike can enjoy tasty local brews.”
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