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Beer Tax hikes – granting of Parliamentary debate today shows huge scale of concern, says BBPA’s Brigid Simmonds


The British Beer & Pub Association has welcomed the decision to grant a full Parliamentary debate on the Government’s controversial Beer Duty Escalator. The three hour debate will take place on Thursday, 1st November, with a motion that will call on the Government to review the policy.

Today’s move follows a growing campaign, with an e-petition that has attracted over 100,000 signatures, and new figures published today by the British Beer & Pub Association, which show UK beer sales, a key sector of the economy, falling by 5.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2012.

Since the introduction of the beer duty escalator in March 2008, beer duty has increased by 42 per cent and beer sales have fallen by 15 per cent. Most of this decline has occurred in Britain’s pubs and clubs. Over this period, 6,000 pubs closed their doors for good, with beer taxation costing the average pub around £66,000 per year.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, comments:

“I welcome this decision; which shows many MPs are indeed listening to the public on this issue. This is about consumers - pub goers, beer drinkers and licensees who hate the tax which hits everyone hard. The task now is to persuade the Government that excessive tax hikes are the wrong policy, hurting jobs and pubs when instead, we could be delivering growth and employment.”

Notes to editors:

The full wording of the motion to be debated is below:

“That this House welcomes the essential role of brewing and pubs to the UK’s economy in providing one million jobs; notes the 42% increase in beer duty since 2008 and Treasury forecasts that have shown that there will be no additional revenue generated from beer duty despite planned increases over the next two years; is therefore concerned about the effectiveness of this policy in tackling the Budget deficit, its impact on valued community pubs and the continued affordability of beer in pubs; and therefore urges the Government to support Britain’s beer and pub sector by conducting a thorough review of the economic and social impact of the beer duty escalator to report back before the 2013 Budget.”

The debate was confirmed by the Backbench Business Committee:

Backbench Business – Determination of Business for 1 and 8 November

The Committee has determined that the following business will take place in backbench time:

Thursday 1 November in the Chamber

  • Debate on a motion relating to the Beer duty escalator (Members in charge: Andrew Griffiths, Greg Mulholland)

The Committee heard this was the subject of an e-petition which has received over 100,000 signatures and a topic of interest to Members across the House.


Beer Duty

For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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