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Beer duty tax set to be questioned by mass lobby

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: December 12, 2012

By ROB SMYTH

  • Pics of Burton, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire MPs in Westminster, London, for feature Andrew Griffiths

  • Tory Party Chairman - Grant Shapps visiting the Burton Mail MP Andrew Griffiths

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CAMPAIGNERS for the abolition of the beer duty escalator will descend on parliament to lobby calling for the end of the ‘damaging’ tax.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has organised the biggest campaigning event in its 40 year history as more than 1,200 of its members – as well as other members of the beer and pub industry - descend on London on Tuesday, December 12 as a show of support for the industry.

They will lobby MPs such as Burton’s Andrew Griffiths and South Derbyshire’s Heather Wheeler in an effort to review beer duty.

Colin Valentine, CAMRA national chairman, said: “Over the past 40 years there have been few threats to the UK pub industry as severe as the beer duty escalator, which is why so many of our members from across the country have travelled to Westminster to participate in the lobby.

“Even after a Government e-petition reaching 100,000 signatures, and a Parliamentary debate where MPs present unanimously backed a review of the beer duty escalator, the Government do not appear to have woken up to the crippling social and economic impact their actions are having on valued community pubs.

“With the nation’s pub closure rate back on the increase, what the Government should be doing is looking at ways to alleviate the burden on struggling pubs, and further recognise their importance as community assets.

“Such a huge decline in the number of regular pub goers, as seen with today’s figures, is a critical reminder that change needs to happen fast to prevent irreparable damage to community life in the UK, and to save the nation’s proud pub going heritage from being taxed into oblivion.”

Members of the organisation will make the journey as new figures show that since the beer duty escalator – a policy causing duty on beer to automatically increase by 2 per cent above inflation every year - was introduced in 2008, the number of regular pub goers in the UK has declined by a staggering three million people.

During this period, more than 5,800 pubs have been forced to close their doors.

More information is available by visiting www.saveyourpintlobby.co.uk

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