MPs ‘haven’t fully grasped’ beer duty escalator impact, claims SIBA

Many Coalition MPs are continuing to defend the Beer Duty Escalator on the basis that it provides revenue needed to pay down the deficit – despite the fact that the Treasury’s own figures show this not to be the case.

Ahead of tomorrow’s Parliamentary debate on beer duty, the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has undertaken a mass lobbying exercise, through its membership of 500+ brewers.  SIBA chairman Keith Bott, says, “We were surprised at how many Coalition MPs, in their reply to our members, claimed that the escalator needed to stay in place. The standard response seems to be that “revenues from alcohol excise duty make an important contribution to reducing the deficit we inherited from the last Government”.

“However, according to Treasury estimates, the Exchequer will receive just £35m in additional duty from the escalator in 2013/14. This amount would be largely offset by the boost in sales and employment related taxes that a beer duty freeze would create – Oxford Economics calculates that this would save 10,000 jobs by 21014/15, mainly in pubs.”

Bott added, “We are nonetheless heartened by the support from many MPs who are sympathetic to our cause – because they have seen the ruinous effect of the escalator on pubs in their constituency.  We look forward to seeing them in the House tomorrow.”

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Issued on behalf of:                Society of Independent Brewers

By:                                           ShielPorter Communications

For information:                      Ros Shiel: 07841 694137 / ros@shielporter.com