Call time on Britain’s beer tax, Euro MEP tells Chancellor George Osborne ahead of Budget

LAST orders should be called on Britain’s beer tax says Cambs Euro MEP Robert Sturdy.

The Tory MEP warned Chancellor George Osborne not to go ahead with his planned five per cent hike in beer duty in Wednesday’s (March 21) Budget.

He believes scrapping the ban would save 16,000 jobs over the next three years and help save struggling pubs from ruin.

Beer taxes in the UK are now an astonishing 11 times higher than in the largest beer market, Germany,” said the MEP.

Mr Sturdy says Brits pay 40 per cent of the European Union’s beer tax bill but only drink 13 per cent of the total sold.

He also pointed to statistics from Oxford Economics for the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) that show there are 73,896 jobs in the beer and pub sector in the East of England, including 21,855 for 16 to 24 year olds.

The sector also contributes �1,629.1 million to the regional economy and �773.8 million in taxes in East Anglia, the statistics show.

Most Read

Mr Sturdy said: “These figures show how important the brewing and pub sector is in the East of England.

“I hope the Chancellor will take action to protect these jobs by scrapping the beer duty escalator. This will also help our much-loved pubs, the communities they serve and the important local facilities they provide.”

Mr Sturdy calls back similar pleas from the BBPA, the Society of Independent Brewers and the Campaign for Real Ale to abandon the five per cent hike.