The chancellor’s decision to once again raise beer tax signs the “death warrant” for thousands of the UK’s pubs and for tens of thousands of British jobs, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) warned this afternoon.
Responding to today’s 2009 budget statement, the BBPA said: “In imposing these additional beer taxes, the Government has wilfully ignored the views of the public, landlords, consumer groups, industry representatives and MPs from all parties who have been calling for action to save the British pub.
“At a time when the rest of the economy is getting a supporting hand, the beer and pub industry is being singled out for punitive action. Last year the Chancellor raised beer tax by an eye-watering 18%. Today’s rise is a further body blow. The result will be more pubs closing, more jobs being lost and more people consuming alcohol outside supervised, licensed premises.”
Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) chief executive, Mike Benner, said: “It is disappointing that the Chancellor has ignored widespread public concern about the plight of Britain’s pubs and decided to press ahead with an increase which will result in yet more valued community pubs closing down. Well-run community pubs are already struggling as a result of last year’s 18% increase in beer duty and the recession. This further beer duty increase will push more valued pubs over the edge resulting in job losses, reduced Government tax revenue and many more deprived of their favourite local pub.”
“Well-run pubs provide an enjoyable and affordable night out in a safe and supervised environment and this duty increase will simply fuel irresponsible drinking of cheap discount alcohol in people’s homes, public parks and on the streets.”
Michael Turner, chairman of London brewer and pub operator Fuller, Smith & Turner, added: “We are very disappointed that the chancellor has ignored the industry, his fellow MPs and the public at large by continuing along this Government’s path of raising beer duty, regardless of the facts.
“The chancellor already makes 50 times as much out of each pint sold as the Brewer does and this further increase cannot be justified. The British pub is the home of responsible drinking and the envy of the world. It should be cherished not persecuted.”
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