Taxpayers' Alliance calls for scrapping of Beer Tax Escalator ahead of Budget

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tax

The Mash Beer Tax campaign has been launched today as a last minute call to Chancellor George Osborne to scrap the beer tax escalator
The Mash Beer Tax campaign has been launched today as a last minute call to Chancellor George Osborne to scrap the beer tax escalator
The Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA) has today launched a new campaign to put more pressure on the Government to scrap the beer tax escalator.

The Mash Beer Tax campaign, launched three weeks ahead of this year's Budget, will see beer mats sent out to pubs showing how much tax people are paying on beer and urging them to email their MP. 

With tax on beer having increased by 42 per cent in the last four years and the price of a pint set to rise by another 6 pence this year, the TPA said it was urging the Chancellor to re-consider a further rise. 

"Beer is already taxed more in the UK than almost every other country in Europe. Yet another rise in beer duty at this year's Budget would be a further blow to people already struggling with the increasing cost of living," said TPA chief executive Matthew Sinclair. 

"It would also harm the scores of pubs whose existence is under threat because ever higher taxes are putting people off going for a drink."

Affect on pubs

Since the introduction of the beer tax, more than 5,800 pubs have closed across the country, according to figures from the Campaign for Real Ale​ and the continuation of the tax could destroy more, the TPA said. 

The Forum of Private Business has backed the alliance's calls for the scrapping of the escalator with its head of policy Alex Jackman highlighting the link between the high price of beer and the rate of pub closures. 

“What’s made it all the worse is the beer tax escalator's link to inflation which was running for some time at above 5 per cent, and the chances are it’s going to remain high for the foreseeable future.

“These kind of increases are unsustainable for the industry, as the pub closure figures bear testament, and are contributing to the erosion of high streets and communities across the UK.

“Further increases to beer duty is pure folly, damaging to small business, and will ultimately destroy what is a lucrative sector that earns the Treasury £6 billion a year in duty and VAT.”

A website www.mashbeertax.org​ has also been set up where campaigners can add their support.

Pubs who have not received beer mats and would like some can email orregnk@gnkcnlrefnyyvnapr.pbz​. 

Related topics: Business, Venues, Legislation, Pubs & Bars

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