Budget countdown: Public against beer tax rises
The majority of the public believe the Chancellor shouldn't raise beer tax in this Wednesday's Budget, research revealed today.
In a survey of more than 1,000 adults, conducted by ComRes on behalf of the Axe the Beer Tax campaign, 90% said Alistair Darling should either freeze or lower tax on alcohol.
Around two-thirds said an increase in tax would lead to more pub closures, currently running at six pubs a day, according to the campaign's backers.
David Long, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), said: "This poll shows that the public understands the damage that increasing beer tax has on pubs.The Government increased duty by an eye watering 18% last year and pubs are closing at a record rate."
Long called on the Government to abandon its proposed beer tax escalator, which would see the rate increase 2% above inflation each year for the next four years, and warned that there was now "48 hours to save the pub".
Axe the Beer Tax, which is supported by the BBPA and consumer group the Campaign for Real Ale, today held an event at the Red Lion pub in Westminster, which is yards from the Treasury.
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By Chris Druce
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