Craig Mackinlay MP has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to remove the retail price index (RPI) inflationary increases in beer duty, and to cut duty on lower strength beers, in the forthcoming Budget.
The South Thanet MP also led successful calls to freeze beer duty in last November’s Budget, which was celebrated at the time.
He is now hoping the Government will go even further by removing the RPI increase and cutting beer duty to reduce pressure on the UK’s pub and hospitality sector.
Craig Mackinlay MP commented:
“The pub trade is at the very heart of Britain’s heritage, contributing £23 billion to the UK economy and supporting 900,000 jobs.
“In South Thanet alone there are 104 pubs and 1,395 jobs reliant on the industry.
“Pubs need our support, as patrons, and from the government with fair tax.
“Beer duty has increased by 60% over the last 17 years and now the UK has one of the highest rates of tax in Europe.
“It’s a shocking fact that between 2008 and 2013, under the fuel duty escalator, the UK lost 58,000 jobs and 5,000 local pubs closed, whilst the Treasury received less and less additional revenue from the policy.
“Any further increases to beer duty will present additional challenges for the industry and I fear this will cause more pubs to close.
“That’s why I am asking the Treasury not to let history repeat itself in the forthcoming budget and immediately remove the policy of annual RPI inflationary increases for beer duty.
“We should also incentivise the lower-alcohol beer market so that beers brewed at 3.5%ABV and below are subject to less duty.”