British beer duties are the third highest in the EU

01 June 2009 by
British beer duties are the third highest in the EU

British beer drinkers pay more than nine times the rate of duty as German consumers and seven times as much as the French, the British Beer & Pub Association revealed today.

Across the 27 EU countries, only Finland and Ireland impose higher excise duty rates on beer than the UK, according to figures compiled by the trade association for its Axe the Beer Tax, Save the Pub campaign.

The campaign, launched at the end of last year in association with the Campaign for Real Ale, calls on the Government to reduce tax on beer, with six pubs closing every day. More than 70,000 people have joined or supported the campaign, including over 200 MPs.

Alcohol duty was increased by 2% above inflation in the Budget last month on top of the 18% increase in 2008. This year's Budget increase is being debated in Parliament as part of the Finance Bill.

David Long, BBPA chief executive, said: "These figures show that British beer drinkers are being taxed at rates far in excess of most of their European counterparts.

"With elections to the European Parliament taking place next week, beer lovers will note the extent to which they are being taxed above and beyond other consumers in the rest of the EU.

"We hope that those MEPs elected as a result of these elections will stand up for British beer lovers and the great British pub."

Budget: Beer tax rise signals ‘death warrant' for UK pubs >>

Majority of MPs oppose beer tax rise >>

202 MPs call for freeze on beer tax >>

Tories launch campaign to support struggling pub industry >>

Trade body to launch ‘Axe the beer tax' campaign >>

By Daniel Thomas

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