Tim Hampson's Beer Blog

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It’s time for the Budget to give beer a break

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Even if Chancellor George Osborne says not one word about beer tax in the Budget the price of a pint will go up.

Because of a pernicious tax ruse called the “escalator” there will be an automatic increase of seven per cent in beer duty. This comprises an inflation increase plus two per cent.

The raising of beer duty year on year in the form of the beer duty escalator is a lazy and thoughtless policy. Like it or not the government must face two stark facts – increase beer tax and tax revenues will fall and more pubs will close putting people out of work.

Freezing duty could generate up to £40 million in extra tax revenues say the enormous brains of researchers at Oxford Economics, which should be good news for everyone.

The British Beer and Pub Association www.beerandpubjobs.co.uk has undertaken an excellent survey of Parliamentary constituencies and the impact the beer and pub industry has at a local level.

I recommend everyone check out their own constituency. The Oxford West and Abingdon page shows that just in this area the 70 pubs pub employ 1,566 people, pay £23 million in wages and contribute £35 million to the local economy (something called gross value added) and there is one brewery.

If beer tax goes up, jobs will go, pubs will close and many communities will be immeasurably damaged not just economically but socially.

Come on politicians its time for a people’s budget which gives a lifeline to the place most of us socialise in – the pub.

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Written by timhampson

March 23, 2011 at 9:22 am

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