Beer duty ‘will be frozen’

20 April, 2009

Gordon Brown has told Alistair Darling not to increase beer duty in

Wednesday’s Budget, according to a Sunday newspaper report

.

The People says the planned 3p-a-pint increase, which was scheduled to

go ahead as part of the Chancellor’s pledge to raise alcohol duty by

2% on top of inflation, has been scuppered.

There is no mention of whether the reported duty freeze would apply to

other drinks.

The newspaper claims that the Prime Minister has been swayed by trade

arguments that a further duty increase could be the final nail in the

coffin for 2,000 pubs, risking up to 59,000 jobs.

Brown is thought to be nervous of increasing beer duty in the

recession, and is reported to be against using tax to punish an

irresponsible minority of alcohol drinkers.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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