Talking Point: Should the Government freeze tax on beer in next month’s Budget?

Ady Smith of The Dove Street Inn in St Helen's Street.

Ady Smith of The Dove Street Inn in St Helen's Street. - Credit: Contributed

THE TaxPayers’ Alliance has called on George Osborne to freeze tax on beer in next month’s Budget, releasing figures showing that one-third of the cost of a pint in a pub goes straight to the taxman.

Mike Keen of The Brewery Tap in Cliff Road.

Mike Keen of The Brewery Tap in Cliff Road. - Credit: Archant

The campaign group said the Chancellor should call time on the “beer duty escalator” which has increased the tax by 42% in the past four years.

Julie Ridgeon of The Kingfisher in Hawthorn Drive with husband Kevin.

Julie Ridgeon of The Kingfisher in Hawthorn Drive with husband Kevin.

According to alliance chief executive, Matthew Sinclair, beer duty in the UK is the second highest in the European Union and 10 times the level in Germany.

Val Bint of The Steamboat Tavern in New Cut West.

Val Bint of The Steamboat Tavern in New Cut West.

We spoke to pub landlords and landladies in Ipswich to get their views on the issue and the effect its having on the town’s pubs.

Mik Stoddard and Pat Comber of The Golden Hind in Nacton Road.

Mik Stoddard and Pat Comber of The Golden Hind in Nacton Road.

Shaun De Silva of The Brewers Arms in Orford Street.

Shaun De Silva of The Brewers Arms in Orford Street.

Name: Mik Stoddard, 53

From: The Golden Hind, Nacton Road

Comment: “I’m not in favour of anything to do with beer tax hikes, they’re working against the trade. It makes it much more difficult for people to brave it through the current climate.”

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Name: Julie Ridgeon, 50

From: The Kingfisher, Hawthorn Drive

Comment: “It’s so hard at the moment for everybody and anything that helps our industry would be greatly appreciated. It hits really hard and for some places it can make or break them.”

Name: Val Bint, 55

From: The Steamboat Tavern, New Cut West

Comment: “Anything would help but I can’t imagine it is going to happen. Everyone’s struggling at the moment. It is partly to do with the price of beer and that is ultimately to do with the duty.”

Name: Mike Keen, 43

From: The Brewery Tap, Cliff Road

Comment: “The pub industry is in meltdown and I don’t hold out much hope. The Government is supposed to help small businesses but it seems like the whole industry is being victimised.”

Name: Shaun De Silva, 52

From: The Brewers Arms, Orford Street

Comment: “I’ve always felt it was unjustified to bring in this duty from the beginning. It’s penalising the public house trade. I’m very pleased to see there is momentum to abolish this duty.”

Name: Ady Smith, 47

From: The Dove Street Inn, St Helen’s Street

Comment: “We’d welcome it. It’s killing the industry. If they were to reduce it or at least stop the increase, it would create a lot of jobs and benefit the whole of the hospitality trade.”

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