A campaign to stop the government’s plans to increase beer tax in this year’s Budget in order to give the pub industry a break has gained the support of more than 100 MPs.
The British Beer & Pub Association`s Axe the Beer Tax – Save the Pub campaign, launched in November last year, now has the support of 20,000 people and 113 MPs.
A third of the price of a pint of beer currently goes to the Treasury, and under the Chancellor`s plans, that is set to rise to 40 per cent between 2008 and 2011.
Rob Hayward, chief executive of the BBPA†said beer sales were at at their lowest levels in nearly 40 years and with pubs closures every day across the country, the industry has gained high levels of support.
“The beer and pub industry is not looking for special favours. But at a time when the rest of the British economy is receiving tax breaks and public subsidies, the government’s planned tax hikes on beer are both unfair and unsustainable," he said.
“Pubs are a vital part of communities up and down the country and play a vital role in the British way of life. Yet nearly six pubs are closing every day. The thousands of people who have lobbied their MP over the last few weeks is a clear demonstration of the deep concern and anger felt among landlords, customers and the wider public at what is happening.”
The BBPA will now continue lobbying the Chancellor in the run up to this year`s Budget. There have also been 10 Early Day Motions signed by 113 MPs on the subject.
National campaign launched to save the `Great British Pub`