Time to turn off the beer duty escalator

Most freelancers enjoy a nice pint at the end of a tough week and yet the government has been raising duty by above inflation rates for four years, writes Richard Bayliss, managing director of the Low Tax Group.

Now, an e-petition to stop the beer duty escalator has received over 100,000 signatures, the threshold needed to seek a Parliamentary debate on the matter. This is only the 12th e-petition out of 16,000 online e-petitions to exceed the 100,000 mark.

The beer duty escalator was introduced by the former chancellor Alistair Darling in 2008. It increases the amount of duty by 2% above inflation every year. This has resulted in a 42% duty hike since 2008!

According to the e-petition 'going to the pub is a core British tradition and so is enjoying great beer. If you want to continue enjoying your fresh pint in your local pub then it’s crucial that you support our campaign to grind the beer duty tax escalator to a halt. If we don’t show our support for the great British pub, we risk losing more pubs and more jobs within our local communities.'

While the issues around binge drinking and consuming unhealthy amounts of alcohol are to be taken seriously, it would seem that taxing a pint above inflation is nothing more than a stealth tax.

Those persons who have a quiet pint with colleagues during the week and are sensible about their drinks are being penalised in the wallets. As a result more people stay at home and again this stifles growth in the economy. In the lead up to Christmas, I am sure most of us will all agree that reducing the cost of the traditional pint will be appreciated.

 

1st November 2012

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