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Beer duty video in ‘axe the tax’ fight

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

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A NEW video has been launched as part of the growing campaign to scrap the beer duty escalator.

Leading brewing industry figures are featured in the 10-minute video, which makes the argument for abolishing the escalator, which adds two per cent onto alcohol duty every year above the rate on inflation.

The film, presented by Marverine Cole, also features Andrew Griffiths, Burton MP and chairman of the parliamentary beer group.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, which made the film, said: “Huge thanks are due to everyone who participated in the making of the film.

“Whether it is lobbying their local MPs or encouraging others to do so, I hope everyone – from beer drinkers, to pub goers, publicans and the entire beer and pub supply chain – will use this new film to help make the case for a fairer deal for our sector.

“The 42 per cent tax rises we have endured since 2008 (when the beer duty escalator was introduced) are unsustainable.

“It is vital we get the message across that a change of Government policy could really boost investment and jobs across both beer and pubs — without putting a serious dent in Government revenues.”

Mr Griffiths, who led a House of Commons vote last year in favour of abolishing the beer duty escalator, said in his appearance in the film: “MPs see in their own constituencies the value and importance of pubs.

“The Government talks a lot about the ‘big society’ and we recognise the pub is at the heart of the ‘big society’ and beer is hugely important to the profitability and the future of the great British pub. That is why we are so determined to scrap the beer duty escalator.”

Mr Griffiths said he thought it was ‘hugely unfair’ that the tax on a British pint was 10 times higher than the amount levied in Germany.

The MP added: “We just want some fairness and parity in the system so British pubs and British brewers can get by and make a living.”

Campaigners hope Chancellor George Osborne will use his March Budget to scrap the beer duty escalator.

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