BBPA: consumers don't want tax increase

23 March, 2010

Two thirds of the public want the government to abandon the Beer Tax escalator in Wednesday's Budget, according to a new Comres poll released today (March 23) on behalf of the British Beer & Pub Association.

The Chancellor is committed to increasing duty by 2% above inflation in this week's Budget.

The BBPA said a “large majority” of the public also believe that tax policy should be changed so it encourages people to choose lower strength alcohol drinks such as beer.

The poll results come on the back of a call by 40 chairmen and chief executives of Britain's leading brewers for the Chancellor to scrap the beer duty regime imposed in 2008. It has seen tax on beer increase by 20%.

Oxford Economics has estimated that the increase in Beer Tax will cost 59,000 jobs and lead to a £9 billion loss in economic activity.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “Recently, we have seen some tentative signs of recovery, but this will be put at risk with more tax hikes now.

“The vast majority of voters agree too. They do not want to see further beer tax increases and they would like to see beer – a British-made, low-alcohol drink – taxed differently from other drinks.

“The Chancellor should listen to the economic arguments and to the views of the voters: freeze beer duty and give beer a break.”

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