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100,000 Britons back call for freeze in Beer Tax, forcing Parliamentary debate

Beer drinkers incensed at excessive tax hikes on the nation’s favourite pub drink are now set to force a debate in Parliament - as of today, over 100,000 have now signed an on-line petition on the issue. Campaigners say it’s a wake-up call for the Government and its damaging tax policy on Britain’s beer and pubs.

100,000 signatures force Parliament debate regarding beer tax in 2012Beer Duty has risen by an astonishing 42 per cent since March 2008, when the controversial beer duty escalator was introduced – and 6,000 pubs have closed. A typical British pub in now burdened with £66,500 of duty and VAT on beer every year – a huge drag on pub businesses.

Research by Oxford Economics for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) shows the policy is costing 5,000 jobs – this year alone. With no significant rise in tax revenues, the policy also makes no economic sense, says the BBPA - the paltry, £35 million extra duty collected by the Treasury this year, is wiped out by the loss of revenue through job losses, lost VAT and other taxes and the added cost to Britain’s hard-pressed beer drinkers, pubs and brewers.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments: “Thanks to the huge numbers who are supporting the campaign, this should be a real wake-up call for the Government.  I hope even more people will now sign, as further huge annual tax hikes must not go ahead. They are hurting pubs and destroying our ability to create much needed jobs.

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