Beer drinkers' £100m tax bombshell

By Gemma McKenna

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Germany, England, Indirect tax, Camra

Mike Benner: Calls on Government to reconsider tax hikes
Mike Benner: Calls on Government to reconsider tax hikes
Raising duty and VAT will see UK beer drinkers shelling out an extra £100m by the end of 2010, says the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Raising duty and VAT will see UK beer drinkers shelling out an extra £100m by the end of 2010, says the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The consumer group has urged the new Government to reconsider tax hikes on the trade, calling for it to at least offset a VAT increase with a reduction in duty.

CAMRA has calculated that if gloomy forecasts become reality and beer duty is increased by 5%, while VAT is increased to 20%, UK beer drinkers could end up paying out an extra £100 million by the end of 2010.

Coming at a time when the nation is gripped by World Cup fever, CAMRA says a double header of punitive increases by the Government would mean that for the rest of the year the UK's 15 million beer drinkers would pay out more than the market value of England star Wayne Rooney, on top of almost £3 billion in current excise duty and VAT rates already paid this year.

Mike Benner, CAMRA chief executive, said: "At a time when consumers should be enjoying the friendly atmosphere of their local pub during this great summer of sport, it is alarming to think that by the middle of next week, UK drinkers could be rocked with an increase that would exceed the market value of one of its most famous sporting heroes!

"UK beer drinkers have already been singled out for some of the most whirlwind tax hikes in modern history, with beer excise duty rates alone increasing by a whopping 25% in the last two and a half years. We now issue a plea to this new coalition Government to help re-write these devastating blows to the UK pub industry in the last couple of years, and at the very least offset any potential VAT increase with compensatory measures for beer duty.

"If England are to progress in the football World Cup, they will need all the help they can get from the nation's fans, so to deny pub goers the chance of an affordable night at their local to support their team would simply be a disastrous own goal by the UK Government."

CAMRA lastly urges all pub goers to visit its national website and lobby their local MP to support the Great British pub- www.camra.org.uk

Related topics: Beer

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