202 MPs call for freeze on beer tax

06 April 2009 by
202 MPs call for freeze on beer tax

More than 200 MPs, including 97 Labour backbenchers, have called on the Government to scrap plans to increase beer tax in this month's Budget.

The 202 MPs, from all political parties, have signed an Early Day Motion supporting the British Beer & Pub Association's (BBPA) "Axe the Beer Tax, Save the Pub" campaign.

The Government set out plans last year to increase beer duty by 2% above inflation in this month's Budget - and by the same amount for the following three years, despite the fact pubs are now closing at a rate of six per day.

More than 70,000 members of the public have joined the campaign since it launched last November, while 25,000 people have lobbied their MPs on the issue, according to the BBPA.

David Long, chief executive of the association, said: "The fact that more than 200 MPs have joined our campaign is testament to widespread strength that is felt across all parties regarding on the future of British pubs.

"Pubs are a fundamental part of our community life and the Government now needs to act to save them from extinction. A good start would be to scrap plans set out 12 months ago in brighter economic times to increase beer tax again."

Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale, which backs the campaign, added: "The Prime Minister recently said that he didn't want responsible, moderate drinkers to pay more. Scrapping next month's beer tax would be a truly popular and effective way of turning those words into action."

Beer tax hike a ‘kick in the teeth', says BBPA >>

Pub industry must help politicians understand its problems >>

Pub leaders call for freeze in alcohol duty >>

JD Wetherspoon chairman slams Government over tax >>

Treasury could be £217m worse off due to alcohol duty hikes >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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