British Beer & Pub Association drinking in the last-chance saloon

British Beer & Pub Association drinking in the last-chance saloon

The British Beer & Pub Association has called for a last-minute reprieve on the proposed rise in value added tax, due to the bad weather in the UK.

The Government is set to raise value added tax (VAT) from 17.5% to 20% in January, but the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has called for a 30-day reprieve. It said that a run of freezing temperatures and snow have "hit sales hard" in the UK on-trade during the key Christmas trading period.

"If there was any consideration by ministers that the VAT increase should be postponed it would provide considerable help to the industry,” said the BBPA's chief executive, Brigid Simmonds.

The BBPA has already claimed that the on-trade will feel the pinch from the VAT rise more acutely than retailers. The trade body said that the price of a pint of beer will rise by GBP0.02 in the off-trade, but by GBP0.06 in pubs and bars.

Yesterday, the head of the UK's Wine & Spirit Trade Association told just-drinks that the VAT rise will set the tone for another tough year in the country's wine sector.