Speaking at a BBPA (British Beer & Pub Association) reception hosted by the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG), Percy said that while he couldn’t say there would be a duty cut, "if any group can influence the Chancellor, it is the APPBG, which has been so successful until now".
At the House of Commons reception for north-west MPs, the chief executive of the BBPA, Brigid Simmonds, reiterated the association's calls for a cut in duty.
"We were very pleased to see such a good turnout from north-west MPs, and encouraged by the support and enthusiasm shown for beer and pubs in the region. The industry is vital to both the north-west and national economy, and I hope this importance is recognised with a cut in beer duty on 8 March,” Simmonds said.
Richard Kershaw, chairman of the BBPA's north-west branch, added that the region had been “hit hard” in the past decade with a 42% rise in beer duty. While three recent cuts and a freeze last year have helped, he warned that the industry is “not out of the woods yet”, and added his voice to the calls for a further beer duty cut in the Budget.