CAMRA Backs E-Petition to End Escalator
CAMRA has responded to the 5% increase in beer duty in today's Budget by launching a concerted effort to secure over 100,000 signatures on the Beer Tax E-Petition. This petition was launched a few weeks ago by Marston's Brewery with the aim of influencing the Budget in 2013. 100,000 signatures will secure a high profile Parliamentary debate with accompanying press coverage which will help pressure the Government to end its policy of increasing beer duty by inflation plus 2% every year.
Duty on beer since 2008 has increased by a dramatic 42% due to a succession of inflation busting tax hikes. These increases are having a harmful impact on pubs, jobs and pub goers' pockets and we need to show the Government the strength of feeling on this issue from voters. A poll last weekend by the Sunday Mirror newspaper showed that 54% of voters wanted a freeze in tax on beer.
Over the last few months CAMRA has been busy lobbying to get the Chancellor to drop the escalator. This has involved countless meetings, submissions and briefings as well as over 5,500 people contacting their MPs backing CAMRA's campaign. The Chancellor has refused to listen to an overwhelmingly compelling case put by CAMRA and many others on the urgent need to drop the escalator. Over the last year over 30,000 beer and pub jobs have been lost as over 750 pubs have closed.
Now that Budget 2012 has happened we can focus on pushing the Beer Tax E-Petition which is aimed at influencing Budgets from 2013 and beyond. The timing of this petition which was launched earlier this month was such that there was no prospect of it impacting on this year's Budget but it does have every chance of delivering a long awaited success next year. A sustained campaign over several months will get us over the 100,000 signature hurdle. Once we are over this hurdle we can expect a high profile Parliamentary debate within the following month.
CAMRA's support for this e-petition is echoed by the British Beer and Pub Association, Society for Independent Brewers and a whole range of other groups and companies. Our hope is that this alliance of interests will over the next twelve months persuade the Chancellor to ditch the beer duty escalator to save jobs, save pubs and ensure pub going remains an affordable activity.
CAMRA is producing campaign material for use in pubs and at beer festivals to encourage as many people as possible to sign the petition. If you would like to order beer mats or posters please email my colleague: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven't done so already please sign the petition yourself and please ask everyone else you know that cares about beer and pubs to do the same.