Industry bodies slam rise in duty

22 March 2007 by
Industry bodies slam rise in duty

Industry bodies have slammed the increase in duty on alcohol, which was announced in yesterday's Budget.

During his speech, Gordon Brown revealed that beer will rise by 1p a pint from midnight on Sunday.

Mark Hastings, director of communications at the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said the rise was a "slap in the face" for the already pressurised pub sector.

"This is a slap in the face for one of Britain's world beating businesses," Hastings said.

"Gordon Brown has chosen to turn his back on a brewing sector facing intense pressure from rapid cost inflation and the forthcoming smoking ban."

The Chancellor also announced that cider duty will go up 1p a litre, wine by 5p per bottle and sparkling wine by 7p.

Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), criticised the rises saying it is a false economy for the Government that may result in an exodus from pubs.

"This is bad news for the millions of people who enjoy British pubs but will now face a higher cost to visit them. Therefore trips to the pub will become less frequent and the revenue the Government makes from VAT will suffer," he said.

British Institute of Innkeeping chief executive John McNamara added that with licensees currently concentrating on the forthcoming smoking ban the increase in duty came at a bad time.

"We are encouraging our members to view the forthcoming year and the smoking ban as an opportunity but it will inevitably involve costs to licensees in preparation and during the implementation period," he said.

British Beer & Pub Association calls for beer duty to be frozen >>

Forthcoming smoking bans will not deter customers, says Camra >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn]( bodies slam rise in duty) here.

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