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BBPA renews call for beer tax freeze as figures show UK alcohol consumption has fallen again

12 March 2012 by
BBPA renews call for beer tax freeze as figures show UK alcohol consumption has fallen again

The amount of alcohol each person in the UK consumes per head has now fallen 13% since 2004, following a 2.2% drop per head in 2011.

That's according to figures from the Office of National Statistics, which the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) is using to repeat its call for a freeze in beer tax.

Drinking above weekly guidelines among young men is down from 32% to 21% compared with five years ago.

And the BBPA warned that with beer sales down 3.4% in 2011, the BBPA said it was no time for another sharp rise in beer tax.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: "Total alcohol consumption is now 13% lower per head than in 2004, when this trend began. The Government's own surveys show the same trends, with good progress in reducing drinking above recommended guidelines.

"The drinks industry is working hard with Government and investing in initiatives to tackle alcohol misuse, so as well as the launch of new initiatives, we need to acknowledge the progress already made. Over 90 per cent of beer containers have unit labelling, and under the Alcohol Responsibility Deal, the BBPA has developed a Customer Unit Awareness Campaign for the on-trade.

"We need to draw back from the huge tax rises planned by the Government. These would damage British brewing and pubs, on which almost one million UK jobs depend. Freezing beer tax in the Budget would also send a signal that the Government wants to encourage lower strength drinks - as it did last year, with its new lower tax on 2.8% abv beers."

By Neil Gerrard

E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.

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