Brown sets date for Budget on April 9

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Duty, Progressive beer duty, Iraq war, Gordon brown, Chancellor gordon brown

Chancellor Gordon Brown will be announcing this year's Budget later than usual on April 9.It is thought the delay of a month is down to a possible...

Chancellor Gordon Brown will be announcing this year's Budget later than usual on April 9.

It is thought the delay of a month is down to a possible war with Iraq, but the industry is hoping this will not mean the government is looking for ways to raise extra revenue to fund a war by penalising business.

A cut in duty and a slash in red tape are the two top priorities on the industry's Budget wish list.

A spokesman for the British Beer & Pub Association said: "The recent reduction in progressive beer duty has benefited both the Treasury and brewers. Treasury revenue has increased and beer sales have gone up."

He said this proved that a cut in alcohol duty would benefit both the alcohol industry and the government, but said despite this the Chancellor would probably put duty up.

Tony Payne, chief executive of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers' Associations, said he was also concerned about duty. "I would like to see a freeze on duty. I think the industry contributes enough to the government already.

"But red tape is also a huge issue. I would like to see the Chancellor come up with positive moves to help small businesses."

The Federation of Small Businesses is hoping the Chancellor will defer the one per cent National Insurance rise, due to take effect this April, because it could be the final straw for small businesses already in financial trouble.

Last month the spirits industry called for a reduction in duty rates.

Both the Scotch Whisky Association and the Gin and Vodka Association are calling for a reduction in spirits duty.

The Treasury has frozen duty rates on all spirits in the last five Budgets, but the sector is hoping that this time Gordon Brown will go a step further and reduce tax by four per cent.

Meanwhile, the Independent Family Brewers of Britain has decided not to submit a formal call for a duty cut this year because it is more concerned with licensing reform.

Related topics: Legislation

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