Beer petition against beer duty hikes

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Great british beer, Alcoholic beverage, Public house

Beer petition against beer duty hikes
Eleven MPs have supported calls for the beer duty escalator to be suspended in next month’s Budget.

They have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) from Andrew Griffiths MP, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, that says the move would “help reduce pub closures, create 5,000 additional jobs and ensure pub going remains an affordable leisure activity”.

The EDM states that beer and pubs contribute £21bn to the UK’s GDP and support almost 1m jobs.
“2012, as a year of national celebrations, is the perfect time to recognise the economic and social value of great British beer and the pub industry,” the EDM says.

Other MPs to sign the motion include Greg Mulholland, the vociferous pubco critic and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group.

Industry and consumer groups have supported the tabling of the EDM.

Brigid Simmonds, British Beer and Pub Association chief executive said: “I hope MPs will support this motion, as there is real concern about the impact of huge tax rises on beer and pubs. Beer is Britain’s favourite pub drink - a UK product that creates jobs and keeps thousands of pubs in business. If we get a tax freeze in the Budget, we could create and protect 16,000 jobs in the next three years alone.”
 
Mike Benner, CAMRA chief executive added: “CAMRA are uniting with the BBPA and SIBA to highlight the harm to valued community pubs caused by punitive high levels of taxation on beer.

"A freeze in beer duty would help protect the future of pubs and ensure pub going remains an affordable social activity for all. CAMRA’s 135,000 members are today contacting their local MPs asking them to send a clear message to the Chancellor that enough is enough. Supporters of our campaign can contact their own MP by going to: http://bitly.com/EDM2785​”
 
Julian Grocock, chief executive of SIBA, said: “Our plea is for MPs to support this motion for a policy change, to re-invest in Great British beer and pubs so they can recover their vital role in the social life of the communities that make up this country.

"Only thus will we be able to re-assert the values of a responsible drinking culture; and only thus will these proud and iconic industries remain strong enough to fulfil their commitment to making a fair and sustainable contribution to the national economy.”

The Budget takes place on 21 March.

Related topics: Beer

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