Pull beer tax, say pub reps

Representatives of the UK’s pub industry are calling for duty on pints to be
sunk when VAT is set to rise later this year.

The British Beer and Pub Association called for a reduced duty rate on lower
strength beers and greater support for pubs serving food in a manifesto
published today.

The manifesto, called “The life and soul of Britain’s communities”, calls on
the Government to reverse the 8% increase in duty on beer imposed at the time of
the VAT cut last January when VAT returns to its 17.5% rate on 1 January 2010,
and to scrap plans to increase duty by 2% above inflation in the Budget in March
next year.

Richard Lambert, Director-General of the CBI said in the manifesto:

“The British Beer and Pub Association highlights some key priorities for the
beer and pub trade and companies at large, including lowering the tax burden and
ensuring levels of regulation do not hinder the business environment.”

A BBPA poll showed 71% of respondents believed tax on beer was too high, 79%
said the “record” pub closure rate of 50 a week is undermining an important part
of Britain’s social and community fabric.

67% of all people agree that Government policy should encourage people to
choose lower strength alcohol drinks like beer, and 74% supported a policy of
lower taxation for lower strength drinks.

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