Beer Duty Debate: Greg Mulholland backs "progressive tax to help the British pub"

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Related tags: Beer duty escalator, Leeds north west, Greg mulholland

Beer Duty Debate: Greg Mulholland backs "progressive tax to help the British pub"
All-Party Parliamentary Save The Pub Group chairman Greg Mulholland has slammed the beer duty escalator as “unfair and unjustifiable” and said the “message is clear” that it should be scrapped.

Addressing the House of Commons as part of the beer duty debate, the Leeds North West MP called on economic secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid MP to consider a “progressive tax which will help the British pub and brewing industries.”

“This (escalator) is pushing people away from drinking in such social environments as the pub and social clusb across the country - and instead they are drinking at home,” said Mulholland.

“The simple reality is that since 2004, beer duty has increased by 60% and beer revenues by just 10%.

“That is a significant fall in real terms - the Government is simply not taking the revenue that it predicted it would take from it. It is a tax which simply doesn’t add up.”

Mulholland also called on the Government to pass on any economic benefits from a scrapping of the escalator to pub lessees and tenants so that they can compete with freehold pubs.

He also pressed the new community pubs minister Brandon Lewis on the “ludicrous situation which allows pubs to be demolished and turned into large supermarkets without going through the planning process.”

He said that along with scrapping the escalator, putting an end to this “predatory purchasing” will allow the coalition to back up David Cameron’s claim that it is “pub-friendly Government”.

Lewis pointed out that the 'community right to buy' scheme has proved helpful for a number of rural pubs which are threatened with closure.

Mulholland said: “The message is clear from the House - the escalator doesn’t make political sense, it doesn’t make economic sense, it doesn’t make social sense. It is unfair and unjustifiable.”

The decision to hold the debate was taken by the Backbench Business Committee on 23 October after hearing representations from All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group chairman MP Andrew Griffiths and All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group chairman MP Greg Mulholland.

The representations were made after the e-petition calling for the scrapping of the beer duty escalator hit over 100,000 signatures on 20 September.

Keep up-to-date with the Beer Duty Debate on the Publican's Morning Advertiser website.

Related topics: Legislation, Beer

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