Beer sector urges chancellor to cut duty in Budget

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

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The beer industry is lobbying for another cut in beer duty
The beer industry is lobbying for another cut in beer duty
Drinks industry trade bodies have called on chancellor George Osborne to cut beer duty for a fourth consecutive year in next month’s Budget.

The bosses of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) have jointly written to all MPs, urging them to support the move.

They claimed the three previous 1p duty cuts led to £1bn in additional investment across the brewing and pub sectors, and the creation of 19,000 new jobs.

£22bn to UK economy

Included in the letter to MPs was a Facts on Tap document, which highlighted that the sectors supported almost 900,000 jobs across the country and contributed £22bn to the UK economy.

An Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled by MP Nigel Evans. At the time of going to press, it had received cross-party support from 29 MPs.

According to the EDM, a further duty cut in the March 16 Budget would secure industry jobs and lower the cost of living.

Mike Benner, md of SIBA, said: “Three consecutive duty cuts have led to increased investment across the independent brewing sector, creating new jobs and providing support for important local small businesses across the country.

“I hope the chancellor will continue to drive this much needed momentum with a further duty cut in March.”

Support for duty cuts

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Strong support from MPs always gives a real boost to our campaign – we have built a very strong case for further duty cuts to boost employment and protect pubs, as the industry still faces big pressures.

“I hope MPs will support the EDM this year.”

Tim Page, chief executive of CAMRA, said: “The ending of the beer duty escalator and three consecutive beer duty cuts have kept pubs open. The Centre for Economic and Business Research calculated that these changes have saved more than 1,000 pubs.”

Beer tax in the UK remains one of the highest in Europe. According to the EDM, British beer drinkers pay almost 40% of all the beer tax in the EU despite only drinking 12% of overall beer volume.

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