Time to prove that beer is more popular than pasties - Sign the petition

By Rob Willock

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer duty escalator, Pint, Pint glass

Call to action: 'Sign the petition to scrap the beer duty escalator', says Willock
Call to action: 'Sign the petition to scrap the beer duty escalator', says Willock
Nearly 500,000 people in the UK have signed petitions against the so-called ‘pasty tax’, which will see a 20% rate of VAT applied to heated pasties and pies. Meanwhile, at the time of writing, the ‘Stop the Beer Duty Escalator’ petition had managed to attract fewer than 37,000 signatures — just over one third of the number required to trigger a debate on the subject in Parliament. What conclusions can you draw from this disparity?

Are pasties 15 times more popular than beer? Or are we as an industry simply failing to get the importance of our message across to consumers?

According to The Sun, almost 310,000 Greggs customers have signed its Save Our Savouries petition, while tens of thousands have added their names to petitions at other bakeries.

So, what are Greggs and co doing that our managed, leased, tenanted and freehouse pub estate is failing to achieve? Simple — they are collecting signatures for the anti-pasty tax campaign (not to be confused with the antipasto campaign to get people eating more Italian cured meats and olives).

So come on PMA readers. Get yourselves (there are 32,500 of you receiving this publication each week and 80,000 accessing the website every month) and your combined millions of customers signed up to camra.org.uk/saveyourpint​ — otherwise Chancellor George Osborne, who wouldn’t know a pint of beer if you poured it over his head, or a pasty if you shoved it up his chauffeur’s exhaust pipe, will get entirely the wrong message and cave in to the highly organised baked-goods lobby.

We’ve written an open letter to your customers on the front page of this week’s issue. Leave this on your bar and encourage them to sign the petition. Use your A-boards, chalkboards, poster frames, toilet walls and menus to spread the word. Most of your customers will have a smartphone on them — and some will have iPads and laptops — so they should be able to sign the petition while drinking your beer in your pub.

Get your staff to prompt customers to do it. Tell them their beer will be cheaper in the long term if they do, and cripplingly more expensive if they don’t.

We’d love to hear about the most inventive ways in which you have created a buzz about the campaign in your pub. Send pictures,
email success stories and tell us how many signatories you have achieved.

Let’s get the campaign across the all-important 100,000 signatories line — at which point MPs will have to take our concerns about beer tax seriously.


  • The Government is taking one third of the price of every pint of beer in tax (about £1 a pint)
  • The beer duty escalator increases the price of beer by two percentage points above the rate of inflation every year
  • Beer duty has risen by 42% in the past three years alone
  • The UK drinking public pays 40% of the total beer duty raised across the whole of Europe
  • British beer duty is nine times higher than German beer duty

Come on licensees of Britain — now is the time to act! It’s pints, not pies, that matter to the people of this great, over-taxed nation.

Related topics: Legislation

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