Beer tax increases could be enough to buy Rooney

18 June 2010
Beer tax increases could be enough to buy Rooney

British beer drinkers could buy Wayne Rooney with the amount of extra tax they would have to pay this year if the Government raises VAT and alcohol duty by the amounts predicted.

That's the warning from the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) ahead of George Osborne's emergency budget next week.

Beer duty is expected to rise by as much as 5%, while VAT is anticipated to increase to 20%. CAMRA said the tax hikes could mean that UK beer drinkers end up shelling out an extra £100m by the end of 2010 - more than they market value of England striker Rooney.

Beer drinkers already pay £3b in excise duty and VAT rates each year.

Camra chief executive Mike Benner said: "At a time when consumers should be enjoying the friendly atmosphere of their local pub during this great summer of sport, it is alarming to think that by the middle of next week, UK drinkers could be rocked with an increase that would exceed the market value of one of its most famous sporting heroes!

"UK beer drinkers have already been singled out for some of the most whirlwind tax hikes in modern history, with beer excise duty rates alone increasing by a whopping 25% in the past two-and-a-half years. We now issue a plea to this new coalition Government to help re-write these devastating blows to the UK pub industry in the past couple of years, and at the very least offset any potential VAT increase with compensatory measures for beer duty.

"If England are to progress in the football World Cup, they will need all the help they can get from the nation's fans, so to deny pub-goers the chance of an affordable night at their local to support their team would simply be a disastrous own goal by the UK Government."

Pub organisations slam Budget rise in alcohol taxes >>

Government tells pubcos to relax the beer tie as part of new action plan for pubs >>

Three main political parties agree need for beer-tie reform >>

By Neil Gerrard

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