TaxPayers' Alliance chief calls for duty escalator to be scrapped

By Lewis Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Duty escalator, Alcoholic beverage

TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive, Jonathan Isaby
TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive, Jonathan Isaby
The new chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance has urged Chancellor George Osborne to scrap the alcohol-duty escalator, which he said is causing damage to pubs.

In an exclusive interview with the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​, Jonathan Isaby said pubs were the “life-blood of communities, economically”.

He made the statements during the official launch of the Call Time on Duty​ campaign​ at Parliament last week, which is supported by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), the Scotch Whisky Association and the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Duty escalator is 'causing damage'

Isaby said: “Clearly people go to pubs to drink all sorts of drinks, including wine, spirits, and soft drinks. The fact is the duty escalator affects all beverages and it’s causing damage, both to pubs and the leisure sector generally.

"This is hitting consumers as well. George [Osborne] demonstrated that he understood this last year. Abolishing the escalator and freezing alcohol duty will be of a wider benefit to the economy.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance was vociferous in its opposition to the beer-duty escalator, which was abolished in last year’s Budget.

Successful campaign

In his formal speech at the launch of the Call Time on Duty​ campaign, Isaby said: “Last year we successfully campaigned for the abolition of the duty escalator on beer, which had been an attack on anyone wanting an honest pint at the end of a hard day’s work.

“We explained to consumers exactly how much tax they were paying when they bought a pint, motivated them to send a message to their MPs about it who — along with key players from the brewing and pub industry — helped to persuade the Chancellor to abolish that escalator.

“So now we are joining those calls to ‘be fair, George’. What he did for beer drinkers last year he should do in March’s Budget for those who appreciate a glass of wine with dinner or wind down with a glass of something stronger before bed.”

Related topics: Legislation

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