Following the publication of the IAS’s report on duty, the ALMR has moved to challenge the IAS’s statistics and argued that tax burdens for licensed hospitality are already too high.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “It is nonsensical for the report to take as its starting point a figure of £21 billion that is now over ten years out of date and was an estimate produced under Tony Blair’s Government.
“Since then, overall consumption as well as alcohol related violence, crime and harm have all fallen as has the proportion of alcohol consumed in licensed premises. The Institute for Economic Affairs report found that gross costs of alcohol amounted to £3.9 billion per year with revenues from alcohol taxation in England amounting to £10.4 billion giving an annual net benefit of £6.5 billion.
“The IAS report only takes into account duty, which is just one element of tax being paid by the licensed hospitality sector. Total duty and VAT takings have increased by over £6 billion since 2000 and pubs, bars and restaurants must also contend with rising property and employment costs.
“Licensed hospitality businesses are facing tightening margins and spiralling costs. We have seen research in the past 12 months that shows that alcohol drinkers do pay their way and our venues, that play a vital economic and social role, do not need additional costs.”