Alcohol duty freeze extended for further six months

13 January, 2023

The Treasury has extended the freeze to alcohol duty rates until 1 August 2023. 

James Cartlidge, Treasury minister, declared to Commons that this measure would give "certainty" to businesses. Cartlidgge said:

"I can confirm that the freeze to UK alcohol duty rates has been extended six months to 1 August 2023. While new duty rates typically come in each year on the first of February, I can confirm the chancellor will instead make his decision on future duty rates at spring budget 2023 to give businesses certainty and time to prepare.

To further support the industry, we are going further by confirming if changes to duty are announced then they will not take effect until 1 August 2023. This is to align with the date the historic forms of alcohol duties come into force and amounts to an effective six-month extension to the current duty freeze."

According to UKHospitality Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls, this represented good news to the hospitality sector and she expects suppliers to reduce inflationary pressures in supply chain as well.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, commented:

“This freeze will allow £180m to be reinvested into our sector at a critical moment and inject a much-needed flurry of festive cheer for pubs and breweries. It shows the government understands just how much our pubs and brewers mean to communities across the UK."

Mark Lewis, Chief Executive of Hospitality Action, added:

“This announcement is welcome and will do much to support our pubs and tenants through a challenging winter as the sector continues to face severe cost pressures. However, we urge the government to keep its promise to modernise the alcohol duty system so it is fairer for pubs and supports lower-strength products.

Fundamental reform is long overdue and will open up investment in the sector, enabling pubs to continue to support communities up and down the country."

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