High profile MP Jack Straw backs calls for beer duty escalator to be scrapped

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer duty escalator, Gordon brown, Jack straw

High profile Labour MP Jack Straw has backed calls for the scrapping of the beer duty escalator.

Straw, who is a former home secretary and Foreign Secretary, writing in a blog for the Lancashire Telegraph said: “Whatever were the arguments for the escalator back in 2008, they no longer hold today. The Budget in three weeks’ time is a good opportunity for the Chancellor to abandon the regulator – and not increase the duty.”

The beer duty escalator , introduced by former Chancellor Alastair Darling, puts the tax on a pint by 2% above inflation every year, which has resulted in a 42% tax hike since 2008.

Straw  said: “The beer duty “escalator” was introduced in 2008 by the last Labour government. I voted for it.

“That year it increased the duty on all alcoholic drinks by 6%, and provided a 2% above-inflation rise each year until 2014/5.”

However, he said that with one-third of a pint going to the taxman it is now time for the Government to review the escalator.

He added: “He (Chancellor) may not even lose money by this, if it helps to stem the decline in pub sales of beer.

“If the calculations suggest, however, that there would be some revenue shortfall, then the difference in my view should be made up by increasing the duty on wines, and, by a lesser degree, spirits.”

Related topics: Beer

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