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Tax reduction on lower strength beers comes into force

03 October 2011 by
Tax reduction on lower strength beers comes into force

The Government has introduced a 35p cut in tax for lower strength beers.

Beers with an alcohol content of 2.8% ABV and below will get a 50% tax break, the equivalent to around 35p on every pint when compared with a typical 4.2% beer, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).

The BBPA welcomed the move, which it said would see new beers enter the lower tax category.

The number of beers under 2.8% currently only make up a small segment of the overall beer market. Brands include: C2 from Molson Coors, Tennent's Sweetheart Stout, Harvey's Sweet Sussex, Mann's Brown Ale (Marston's), and Whitbread Best Mild (AB Inbev).

New beers already announced include Golden Lite, a new lager at 2.8% from J W Lees, and the reduction in strength of Skol lager, from 3% to 2.8% abv (Carlsberg).

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: "From today, it's official - lower-strength drinks like beer are better for you, according to the taxman. The Government deserves credit for nudging drinkers in this direction, and of course, all beers are low in strength compared with other forms of alcohol.

"We'd now like to see a move to raise the new threshold from 2.8 to 3.5%, which would benefit many more beers, and add a huge boost to lower-strength drinks.

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By Neil Gerrard

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