Chancellor George Osborne: beer duty cut is “just the beginning” of Government help for the sector

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer duty cut, Beer, George osborne

Chancellor George Osborne:  beer duty cut is “just the beginning” of Government help for the sector
Chancellor George Osborne has said the beer duty cut is “just the beginning” of Government help for the sector.

However, he would not be drawn on the possibility of a VAT cut for the industry.

Speaking during a visit to Marston’s Brewery in Burton today, when he spoke to a collection of senior figures from the beer and pub sector, Osborne said: “What I would say about the duty cut in the Budget is it’s just the beginning of helping this industry.

“Of course it’s important in its own right - it’s not just the penny off, we also cancelled the beer escalator.

“But what I want to talk to the industry about now, and to Andrew Griffiths, (Burton MP and All Party Parliamentary Beer Group chairman) about is what we can do to help young people get employed in the industry, what we can do support British agriculture which is where it all starts, what we can do with the pub industry, which is where it ends, where the product is sold.

“I see it as an important step forward, what was announced in the Budget, but not the last word.”

Asked by the Publican's Morning Advertiser sister title M&C Report​ about the likelihood of a cut in VAT for the industry, Osborne said: “We just had a Budget, and I took the tax decisions on VAT as well as on duty that I thought were the right decisions and I’m not going to start writing the next Budget.

“I think we got the balance right on the Budget, and by specifically focusing on the beer industry, which had been under real pressure, we were able to get the most bang for our buck.”

Osborne was also asked what convinced him to act on beer duty.

He replied: “I think what convinced me was the economic argument and the fact that it was having an impact on jobs and on pub closures, and that is not what we want our tax system to be doing.

“These are difficult economic times and there’s not enough money to do all the things we’d like to do. So you have to make choices and I thought this was a very straight forward way to help a very important industry that employs a lot of people.”

He praised Griffiths and “other MPs who fought a really strong campaign and made their voice heard”.

Related topics: Beer

Related news