Sir, We applaud the government's decision to freeze beer tax and deliver on its promise made in the Coalition Agreement to not penalise pubs, responsible drinkers and important local industries.

This is a welcome relief for struggling pubs. A beer tax freeze will also help the beer and pub sector's ability to play its part in contributing to economic growth.

The VAT rise is a price to pay for tackling the deficit. However, once the nation's finances are back on a more even keel, we look forward to VAT rates returning to more favourable levels.

We also look forward to the promised review of our alcohol tax system as an opportunity to rebalance our tax system to one that is more fair towards community pubs and our national drink beer.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive, British Beer & Pub Association