If Rachael’s stat-attack didn’t make your heart race, then maybe this extra effect of George Osbourne’s beer tax will. Since the introduction of the escalator in 2008, research by Oxford Economics showed that 29,000 young workers have lost their jobs due to the closure of nearly 6,000 pubs.
Considering the flexibility of hours, working in a pub is quite popular amongst youngsters. A report by the British Beer Pub Association said in January last year, there were 949,000 jobs in the pub industry paying close to £13bn of wages. 46% of these employees were aged 16-24, accounting for one in 12 employed young people working in this industry.
So, pubs are a massive part of youth employment and with this boom in landlords laying off expensive young staff, beer tax is starting to mean far more than an extra 30 or 40p on your pint.
Youth unemployment is a massive issue in the UK, and one of the toughest to crack. The Office for National Statistics logged a 20.5% unemployment rate for 16-24-year-olds at the end of last year, which is more than double of Germany’s. The Huffington Post reported that, according to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the UK has the third worst youth unemployment rate in the developed world, topped only by struggling Greece and Spain. In other words, while we all fantasise about the death of the Old English pub, soaring beer tax is inflaming a big problem with our society that’s damaging future generations.
George Osbourne will announce his budget on the 20th March and this adds another dimension to those campaigning for him to scrap the beer duty escalator.
The Sun continues to push their ‘Axe Beer Tax’ campaign. While the whole thing is most likely a big PR stunt, if Osbourne listens, thousands of livelihoods could be saved.
Does anyone think anything will change in this year’s Budget? Join the debate below.