Chancellor George Osborne attends Budget beer duty celebration
By Michelle Perrett
- Last updated on
The event, held at the Westminster Arms in London, was attended by members of the industry and MPs, who were celebrating the Chancellor’s 1p off a pint, announced in last week's Budget.
All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group chairman and MP Andrew Griffiths praised the industry for working as a “united force”.
He said: “We are here to celebrate a momentus achievement. We should not underestimate what we have actually achieved when the Chancellor announced that he was not only that he was scrapping the much hated beer duty escalator but that he was cutting beer duty by a 1p. What has been achieved should not be underestimated. It demonstrates is what we can achieve as an industry when we work united together.
"We all recognise the importance of the great British pub and the great British pint and because of our work we have secured its future for a long time to come.”
Save the Pub Group chairman and MP Greg Mulholland called the lobbying of the industry a “model campaign”.
He added: “I don’t think some of you realise as other MPs do just how incredible it is that we achieved not just a victory last week but a victory that went beyond our wildest dreams. To achieve political change is incredible. This has only happened because everyone has been so passionate about the campaign and been so unified. Also everyone was not prepared to take defeat and we were sick and tired of beer our great national drink not getting the recognition it deserved from successive Governments.”
British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said the success had been down the industry working in partnership.
She said: “This has been a positive campaign and we have not gone round talking about the woes of the industry. We have talked about great British pubs and great British beer and a wonderful industry that we have and that is one of reasons we have succeeded
"This is not about 1p reduction - I just said to the Chancellor - this is about not about getting a 7.1% increase and getting a 2% actual reduction. It is about the fact that beer is now separated out as being a low alcohol drink of choice and the fact we got rid of the duty escalator."
She thanked a range of people at the event for helping with the fight against the beer tax including MPs such as Andrew Griffiths, community pubs minister Brandon Lewis and treasury minister Sajid Javid. She also thanked the Publican’s Morning Advertiser for its hard work supporting the campaign.