Trade hopeful after Darling meeting

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Duty hikes, Secretary of state for business innovation and skills, Peter mandelson

Drinks trade groups are hoping Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson will take a closer look at the impact further duty hikes will have jobs in the...

Drinks trade groups are hoping Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson will take a closer look at the impact further duty hikes will have jobs in the sector, after high profile meetings held today.

Chiefs from the five major trade bodies met the Chancellor and Business Secretary to urge for a halt to further duty hikes and to highlight the impact the economic slowdown is having on the sector.

Michael Turner, chairman of the British Beer & Pub Association, was representing the pub trade during the two separate meetings.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Scotch Whisky Association, Gin and Vodka Assocation and National Association of Cider Makers were also represented at the meeting.

A spokesman for the trade groups said: "We appreciate the opportunity to make our case directly to the Chancellor and Lord Mandelson and hope that they will take a close look at the potential impact on employment of any further tax increases.

"The government has a real opportunity next month to reverse its planned tax increases on the drinks industry to protect jobs and Treasury revenue."

In asking for a duty freeze, industry leaders argued it is essential now to help businesses across the whole sector cope with the most testing economic conditions.

Research by Oxford Economics included in the industry's Budget submission examined the effects of last year's 17 per cent leap in excise duty and the implications of the four year tax escalator scheduled to start this year, which said a further 75,000 jobs would be at risk in the indutry.

Related topics: Legislation

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