Leading alcohol industry bodies have joined forces in a bid to get MPs to support their call for a cut in beer duty in the next Budget.
The British Beer & Pub Association, Campaign for Real Ale and the Society of Independent Brewers have written to MPs urging them to write to the chancellor ahead of the 8 March Budget to show their support for the beer and pub industry.
The letter, which argues that a cut would help encourage investment, protect jobs and improve confidence in the sector, highlights recent findings of a BBPA commissioned report that found the beer and pub industry in Britain contributes £23.1bn to the British economy, while paying £12.6bn in tax.
Strong support from MPs and the public had “really helped” with calls for cuts in beer duty in the past, said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds, adding previous campaigns and data showed there were “great benefits” to be gained from a further cut.
In recent years, the government has cut beer tax three times, and opted for a freeze on duty last year.
“Our sector supports almost 900,000 vital jobs and we believe our industry should be supported to ensure we can continue to invest in jobs, particularly for young people,” said Simmonds. “I hope that MPs will once again show their support for such a vital British industry.”
The BBPA has also launched a new website for the beer duty campaign - cutbeertax.co.uk - that enables members of the public to write to their MP urging them to back the duty cut call. It also includes in-depth economic data about the impact of the brewing and pub sector in every local authority and parliamentary constituency in the UK.
In addition, online widgets had been created for this year’s campaign that allowed both pub goers and landlords to see how much recent cuts in beer tax have saved them.
SIBA MD Mike Benner said: “Britain still pays the second-highest rate of beer duty in Europe and more than 13 times as much as Spain or Germany, despite beer from British independent craft breweries being in high demand for its quality and flavour.”