Public against alcohol duty hikes

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer, Voting

More than half of the public would vote against Labour if it pushes on with above-inflation alcohol tax hikes, a new poll has revealed. The survey,...

More than half of the public would vote against Labour if it pushes on with above-inflation alcohol tax hikes, a new poll has revealed.

The survey, conducted on behalf of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) by research consultancy ComRes, reveals that the majority of people's share the trade's concerns about the Budget escalator - which will add two per cent duty above inflation over the next four years.

The survey asked in what way increased alcohol taxes will influence voting intention. Fifty-two per cent said they would be more inclined to vote for a party other than Labour, while only 16 per cent said they would be more inclined to vote Labour.

It follows on from Chancellor Alistair Darling introducing an overall alcohol duty increase of 9.1 per cent in the last Budget - including 4p on a pint of beer.

The poll, among 1052 people, also showed three quarters of the public feel further tax increases on alcohol will threaten many traditional pubs.

And more than eight of 10 respondents said raising alcohol taxes would unfairly penalise sensible drinkers.

Rob Hayward, chief executive of the BBPA, said: "This polling calls time on the government's stealth taxes on beer.

"The public is deeply opposed to the Chancellor pushing up the price of a pint at a time when people's main concern is rising prices across the board. By a large majority, the public is saying no. People clearly think the taxman has had enough. This polling must make the Chancellor think again about further tax rises on beer."

And asked if the recent tax increases will significantly reduce binge drinking, 82 per cent disagreed.

Related topics: Legislation

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