Fears beer tax hike could see Blackpool pubs shut

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Blackpool’s £58m pub industry could take a hit if beer duty is raised as expected next week, Britain’s Beer Alliance has warned.

The industry fears a 3.4 per cent rise in beer tax when Chancellor Philip Hammond delivers his Autumn Budget on October 29.

Pubs could be forced to closed if beer tax is increased, it has been warned

Pubs could be forced to closed if beer tax is increased, it has been warned

Blackpool’s 108 pubs and bars employ 2,425 people directly, paying them £20m in wages, new analysis from Oxford Economics shows.

They also support another 639 jobs and £11m in wages indirectly, either through related jobs, like those in the supply chain, or through the money spent by people working in the pub industry.

In total, through salaries and spending power, the resort’s pubs contribute £58m to the local and national economy, the analysis shows.

Britain’s Beer Alliance, an umbrella organisation for major brewers and pub companies, fears a tax hike could see more pubs forced to close.

Chancellor Philip Hammond

Chancellor Philip Hammond

READ MORE: Blackpool’s director of public health in bid to make booze more expensive

David Cunningham, programme director of Britain’s Beer Alliance, said: “Pubs are the heart and soul of our culture and communities. They support many jobs, contribute significantly to the economy and are dear to people’s hearts right across the country.

“Pubs already face a range of tax pressures and if the Chancellor raises beer duty in line with Retail Price Index inflation as planned on October 29, pubs will feel the pinch even more.

“Based on current closure rates, we estimate that within five years more than one in 10 pubs in the UK will have closed for good, costing thousands of jobs.

“This will have a devastating effect on communities up and down the UK.”

There are two breweries in Blackpool, supporting 49 jobs and adding £1m to the economy, according to the Oxford Economics analysis.

Altogether, the local pub, brewery and beer trade in Blackpool adds £66 million to the economy, it says.