The head of one of the UK’s biggest brewers is calling on the Chancellor to cancel the duty escalator on beer, ahead of Wednesday’s budget.

Molson Coors CEO Mark Hunter who is also chairman of the British Beer & Pub Association said the escalator is crippling Britain’s beer and pub industry.

The brewer claimed that British beer drinkers already pay 40% of all the beer tax in Europe and that by 2015 duty on beer will have increased by 50% since the escalator’s introduction in 2008. 

“Britons already pay 40% of all the beer tax in Europe and yet drink just 13% of the beer,” said Hunter. “The Chancellor needs to call time on the duty escalator and give beer drinkers across Britain a break”

British beer duty is eight times higher than in France, ten times higher than in Spain and eleven times higher than in Germany.