BBPA: Tax reprieve for beer too

07 April, 2010

The British Beer & Pub Association has sent an open letter to Alistair Darling, George Osborne and Vince Cable saying there is a “compelling case” to cut beer tax.

The move follows today's pre-election political deal (April 7) to axe the 10% cider tax rise announced in the Budget.

The letter from Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “The arguments for abandoning the proposed tax increase on cider are equally compelling for beer.

“Despite the headline tax increase for cider of 10%, in reality this amounted to a 2.4p tax increase per pint – exactly the same as tax increase on a pint of beer. 

“This is because cider is currently taxed at a lower rate than beer and has enjoyed a long period of beneficial tax treatment. Prior to the Budget, duty on a 5% pint of beer was 47p, compared to just 18p on cider.”

She said since the Budget in 2008, tax on beer has increased by 26%.

Simmonds continued: “Just as you consider cider's 2.4p a pint tax increase to be punitive at a time when British firms are struggling to emerge from recession, so is beer's 2.4p a pint tax increase.

“We ask you to extend the same support to beer and pubs you are proposing extending to cider makers and abandon the planned tax increase on Britain's national drink – beer.”

The letter has also been copied to all MPs and candidates standing at the forthcoming General Election.

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