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Cambridge restaurant to offer duty-free beer and VAT-free chips to highlight high taxes

22 March 2012 by
Cambridge restaurant to offer duty-free beer and VAT-free chips to highlight high taxes

A Cambridge restaurant and wine bar is to highlight the punitive level of duty levied on beer - by offering customers a tax-free pint in the afternoons.

Customers of d'Arry's Cookhouse and Wineshop on Cambridge's King Street will be able to buy pints of beer at £1.30 off the normal price to highlight how much of the price of a pint is tax.

The venue is also offering VAT-free hand-cut chips to highlight the fact that supermarkets do not pay VAT on food sales while pubs and restaurants pay 20%.

Both offers run from 3pm to 5pm Mondays to Fridays.

The campaign started yesterday - on Budget Day, when chancellor George Osborne left alcohol duty "unchanged", which means that the price of a pint will rise by 2% above inflation.

Andy Lilley, managing partner of d'Arry's, said: "We will stick to it and send a protest petition to the chancellor in September, describing what it has cost us."

"This offer leaves us with just about enough to pay the brewery, but at least Cambridge will be happy and we hope we will have made our point."

A similar duty-free day was arranged earlier this year by Brakspear in Henley upon Thames where 10 pubs participated and 1,000 customers signed a petition calling for a freeze of beer duty.

Lilley added: "Taxation on beer is unbelievably high in this country and year after year the chancellor increases beer duty still further. It is closing pubs across the UK and I thought we'd highlight the issue here in Cambridge."

By Neil Gerrard

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