North East drinkers raising a Christmas pint should enjoy the taste of supporting 36,000 local jobs in breweries, bars and supply chains which pay £558 million in wages and contribute £900 million to the economy, according to the latest data from the British Beer and Pub Association.

The BBPA’s Long Live the Local campaign is shining a light on the nearly one million people behind the pint who make the festive season merry.

As North East pubgoers raise a local brew, they support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region: including farmers growing hops, brewers developing new recipes, scientists working on quality control and logistics teams managing deliveries.

A recent North East survey also found that 73% think pubs help combat loneliness and isolation in their local area.

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Emma McClarkin, CEO of the BBPA said pubs and brewers have faced major increases to their costs over the last few years while struggling to limit price rises. She says the next budget must provide surer footing for brewers and pubs by:

1. Cutting tax on beer in the next Budget and pledging to bring beer duty down to the European average over the course of the next Parliament. The EU average duty on a pint of beer is currently 20p, whereas in the UK it is 54p for draught beer and 59p for packaged beer - nearly triple the European average and 12 times more than Germany.

2. Reforming business rates so pubs and brewers can invest in the future, with the 75% relief maintained and a cap to the planned increase in the 2024 business rates multiplier until this is implemented

3. Lowering VAT rate to 12.5% for pubs to help publicans and customers with cost of living increases

Emma said: “Britain remains one of the most expensive places in the world to have a pint, with beer duty more than double the average across Europe. The next Parliament must make bringing beer duty in line with Europe a priority - taking at least 34 pence off the price of a pint.”