Sunday, 18 December 2016

Beer in 1958 (part five)

More on beer and the financial contribution it made to Britain. Which was considerable.

Though that’s nothing new. In the 19th century it was responsible for around a third of the government’s revenue.

“BEER PLAYS a big PART in the country's finances. It provides a substantial part of the Exchequer's income. Here are the facts about beer and money.

Last year beer duty alone brought in the huge total of £261 millions, but this is only one of the contributions made by the brewing industry. Here are the figures:

Beer duty 261,000,000
Brewery Companies' Taxes 40,000,000
Retailers' licences 4,100,000
Brewers' licences 192,000
Dealers' licences 107,000

I make that a grand total of 305,399,000. Quite a lot of dosh in the 1950’s. It paid for quite a lot. Here are some examples:
“The beer duty and taxes brought in last year enough money to pay for —   

Three-fifths of the cost of the National Health Service   
OR All the Agricultural and Food subsidies   
OR Nearly the whole cost of the Royal Navy   
OR Two-thirds the cost of Education”
"Beer in Britain", 1960, page 122.

The proportion of a price of beer that was made up of tax had been rising throughout the 20th century:

Beer duty
Beer is still, apart from spirits, tobacco and some fuels, the most highly taxed commodity in the country.

Unlike other commodities which involve heavy expenditure in dollars, the barley and hops from which beer is brewed are almost wholly home produced - products of British farms.

Yet far from going down, the burden of duty to the customer has been going up.

1900 1938 1958
10% duty 35% duty 50% duty

In 1900 the average tax was 0.25d. on a pint of beer costing 2.5d. - 10 per cent.
In 1938 it was 2.25d. on 6.5d. or about 35 per cent.
In 1958 it is 8.5d. on 1/6d. - nearing 50 per cent.
"Beer in Britain", 1960, page 122.

I doubt very much that the percentage of tax has declined since then.

Some weird stuff about hotels next.

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