The Treasury could be £217m worse off this year thanks to its recent alcohol duty hikes, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) warned today.
The trade body's review of HMRC duty receipt figures shows that, in January, the Government collected the lowest amount of revenue from alcohol duty for seven years. This is despite its decision to raise duty rates in March last year and again in the Pre-Budget Report in November, totalling a 17% increase.
Projected over the course of 2009, this would mean that the Treasury could miss out on £217m, as drinkers stay away from pubs and bars, the ALMR said.
The ALMR is calling on the Government to take heed of this new evidence ahead of the Budget, saying it proves that the alcohol duty escalator leads to less, not more, revenue in the long run.
Tomorrow, the association will highlight the impact of duty, red tape and employment costs to the pub industry at the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group's Ministerial summit.
"Messrs (Gordon) Brown and (Alastair) Darling need to take a long hard look at these figures and realise that their twice yearly raids on pub and bar tills are not doing them any good. All they are doing is putting more and more of Britain's hard working publicans out of business and their staff out of work."
In a separate report released today, the British Beer & Pub Association revealed 2,000 pubs have closed since beer duty was raised in last year's Budget.
By Daniel Thomas
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