The British Beer and Pub Association says Gordon Brown has missed a chance to level the playing field for beer and wine and create a 'clear long-term strategy' for beer.
"The Chancellor's inconsistency is shown in his decision to freeze tax on spirits and cider," said Mark Hastings, Director of Communications at the British Beer and Pub Association.
"It seems curious that the strongest alcoholic drinks, such as spirits and wine, have enjoyed consistently better tax treatment than beer, which has suffered a 22 per cent tax hike since 1997.
"Rather than the annual Budget merry-go-round, what business needs is a clear strategy for beer duty that delivers the stability we need for planning. Instability, uncertainty and pressures on the sector have cost 1000 jobs in the brewing industry over the last 12 months."
"The Government's unequal treatment of the beer and wine taxes is now costing the Treasury an estimated £200 million a year. Stronger beer is taxed more than weaker beer, but stronger wine is taxed the same as weaker wine. Consequently, because wine has increased significantly in strength it is now taxed less relative to beer."
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