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