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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Scrap beer tax in Yorkshire

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7:19am 23rd March 2011

Godfrey Bloom, MEP, has called on the Government to scrap the controversial beer duty "escalator" expected in the Budget.

In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Bloom has urged the Government to recognise the economic and social contribution of Britain's beer and pubs to the region and deliver on the Prime Minister's pledge to be a pub-friendly government.
 
According to analysis by leading economists, Oxford Economics, in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire the sector sustains 90,737 jobs in the region, and is capable of generating many more given a supportive duty regime.

The recent VAT increase, meaning 6p per pint, followed a 26 per cent  increase in beer duty since 2008 and the vast majority (85%) of pubs are small businesses which cannot absorb these tax shocks, further increasing the price differential between pubs and supermarkets.

With the current high rate of inflation the sector is facing a further record-breaking 7.1 per cent beer tax increase via the "escalator" in March. This would result in beer duty having increased by 35 per cent in three years.
 
'Beer taxes are already among the highest in the European Union, if not the world,"

Said Mr Bloom, UKIP Euro-MP for the region. 

'UK beer taxes - duty plus VAT - are eight times higher than in France, ten times higher than in Spain and eleven times higher than in Germany.

"With the average pub injecting over £80,000 into the economy each year, I hope that the Government will think twice about the destructive duty escalator in the forthcoming Budget," said Mr Bloom.

He is supporting a joint campaign led by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), to freeze beer duty and scrap the controversial beer duty escalator ahead of the Budget.

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