Former Treasury Minister John Healey MP urges Osborne to back British beer
John Healey MP has made the first submission for the 2013 Budget by writing to the Chancellor yesterday immediately after he announced that beer duty would increase by another 5%, urging him to back British beer. In his letter John called for George Osborne to abandon the beer duty escalator and consider options to adjust the ratio of tax on beer and wine. John is well qualified to make these points - not only was he a Treasury Minister for five years, but he was also the first dedicated Pubs Minister until May 2010!
"Having been Minister for HM Customs & Excise and responsible for excise duties for the 5 years I spent in the Treasury, I am concerned that we are now overlooking and undervaluing a great British asset.
You have today announced your decision to stick with the alcohol duty escalator of RPI +2%. Looking at the data, there is now an increasing risk of diminishing returns and increasing smuggling and fraud. In recent years a 52% rise in beer duty has produced a 10% increase in duty revenue and almost a 25% fall in sales.
Unlike wine which is 99% imported and largely drunk at home, 85% of the beer drunk in Britain is made in Britain; and it is often consumed in pubs. Industry figures show the economic value of this to the UK, with one million jobs linked directly to brewing and pubs.
Beer is a great example of British enterprise with more than 800 breweries countrywide, many of which are small independent growing companies like the Wentworth brewery in my own constituency."
If you agree with John Healey that the Government should back British beer and stop increasing beer tax, sign the e-petition now.