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87 Million Pints Of Beer Have Been Wasted During The Pandemic

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87 Million Pints Of Beer Have Been Wasted During The Pandemic

Statistics have shown that 87 million pints of beer have ended up going down the drain as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, costing the British pub sector as much as £331 million.

This damning statistic was recently released by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the top trade body representing breweries and pubs in the UK.

The actual monetary figure could even be more, too. The £331 million figure was based upon the average price of a pint, which is apparently £3.81.

Now, we all know some places charge significantly more than that for a pint, right?

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Of course, we'll get a chance to head out and consume some of those lovely pints and support the pubs once again on 12 April, providing everything goes to plan, but the hospitality industry as a whole will need a heap of support to get back to pre-pandemic levels, and the recovery has undoubtedly arrived too late for many businesses.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Obviously, it's a tragedy when a single drop of beer goes to waste, but this vast amount is nothing short of a crisis, because that money not only represents someone's well-earned refreshment at the end of the day, but someone else's job and livelihood.

It also pays for the pubs that have to pay for upkeep while being unable to sell anything to make ends meet.

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However, there was some support offered to the industry in the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak's budget in March, and that was welcomed by the BBPA, although the group did say that more would be needed to lessen the blow to one of the UK's most important industries.

Sunak announced additional grants to help struggling pubs, as well as extending the furlough scheme until September - albeit with increasing employer contributions from July - and five percent hospitality VAT rate and business rates holiday.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

That said, Sunak didn't listen to the 500,000 people who campaigned to have beer duty lowered, even though he did promise to freeze it.

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Reacting to Sunak's announcement, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of British Beer & Pub Association, said: "We welcome the Chancellor's announcement of continued support for the devastated pub sector in the form of additional grants, as well as extensions to the job retention scheme, five percent hospitality VAT rate and business rates holiday.

"The new grants are worth £400 million for pubs and will go some way in helping many of them survive through to the time when they can reopen and operate viably.

"It is, however, crucial that the government ensures all pubs benefit, including those that are part of a group, by removing the current State Aid cap.

"The extension of the job retention scheme until September will help save thousands of pub jobs. Worth £700 million to our pubs and brewers, it gives the sector time to reopen and rebuild trade before bringing all staff back, which would otherwise be too costly and unviable whilst still facing trading restrictions until end of June.

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"It is imperative that the Government allows pubs to operate without restrictions as planned from 21st June. This will give them the best chance to get back on their feet and serve their communities."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

She continued: "Extending the five percent VAT hospitality rate until September and at 12.5 percent thereafter is most welcome.

"We calculate it is worth £485 million to pubs. With all pubs having been closed for so long, the lower VAT rate has been of limited benefit so far, tens of thousands of pubs will not benefit from this until they reopen on 17th May at the earliest and then still at reduced capacity.

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"However, wet led pubs will be especially disappointed again that the reduction will not apply to all beverages so they too can benefit from this.

"We campaigned hard for an extension of the business rates holiday and the Chancellor announced a 100 percent cut on rates until June and up to a 66% cut for the following nine months.

"This is good news, but the proposed cap will mean many pub businesses will not benefit fully from this. We await to see more detail."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"Having called for a cut in beer duty and being a staunch supporter of the Long Live The Local campaign, a beer duty freeze will be seen as much needed short-term relief for the sector.

"However, the Chancellor has only partially listened to the 500,000 campaign supporters who signed the petition calling for a cut in beer duty.

"We now hope the Government will use the ongoing Alcohol Duty Review to cut beer duty to support our brewers and pubs and level the playing field with other brewing nations.

"The Government must support and promote Britain's extraordinary pub and brewing sector in the way other Government's support their domestic industries.

"Overall, this is a good Budget for pubs and breweries in the short term, reflecting just how vital they are to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our communities.

"However, this is just the start of the journey on the hard road to long-term recovery for our sector. The Chancellor has made it clear today he recognises the vital role local pubs play in their communities."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"Now he must continue that commitment by ensuring Britain's pubs and breweries are supported in the long term.

"This should start by extending the VAT cut on hospitality to all drinks until at least the end of the year. We also need a fundamental reform of VAT, business rates and beer duty to ensure that the thousands of pubs and breweries across the UK can thrive and help drive the social and economic recovery we urgently need."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Food And Drink, Alcohol, Beer

Tom Wood
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