March 20, 2013 by jscheema80
Osborne stops short of alcohol rise
Chancellor George Osborne is expected to scrap the proposed 6p rise on a pint of beer, according to press reports. The rise was due to come into effect next month and the change will be seen as a victory for the brewery industry.
Some reports say Mr Osborne is likely to go one step further and abandon the beer duty escalator altogether. It was a measure brought in by the previous Labour government in 2008 and since then, duty on beer has risen a staggering 42 per cent.
Scrapping the beer duty escalator is expected to cost the government £70m. Some ministers believe that it should be retained as it deters alcohol abuse. British drinkers pay the second highest rate of duty in the European Union.
The brewing industry has been campaigning over recent months to scrap the escalator and has received support from more than a quarter of MPs. Supporters of the campaign claim that scrapping the escalator could save 10,000 jobs and also benefit the treasury by £5m.
Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We would be hugely disappointed if they continue with the beer duty escalator. We are closing 18 pubs a week.”