Budget 2011 – Duty on High and Lower Strength Beers
New duties are to be introduced on higher and lower strength beers. The move is designed to help tackle problem drinking by encouraging industry to produce, and drinkers to consume, lower strength beer.
Finance Bill 2011 will amend the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 (ALDA) in order to introduce a new additional duty known as High Strength Beer Duty (HSBD) on beers over 7.5% alcohol by volume (abv) in strength at a rate of 25% of general beer duty. The impact of this change on retail prices is equivalent to 25 pence on a 500ml can of beer at 9% abv.
A reduced rate equivalent to 50% of general beer duty will be introduced for beers exceeding 1.2% abv and not exceeding 2.8% abv in strength. The impact of this change on retail prices is equivalent to a reduction of 18 pence on a pint of beer at 2.8% abv.
These changes will be effective from 1 October 2011.
The new HSBD is intended to reduce the availability and affordability of “super strength” lagers associated with problem drinking. The reduced rate for lower strength beer will help to give responsible drinkers a wider choice of product.