A call for beer to be given a favourable duty rate has been made by the British Beer & Pub Association.
The BBPA said the move should be made to reflect beer’s status as a low-strength, UK-produced product.
The proposal is contained in the BBPA’s pre-Budget submission to the Treasury, with a duty freeze as the first step.
The BBPA says beer duty has increased by 20% in the past two years, increasing the industry’s tax bill by £600 million.
The government has already stated that it plans a further increase of 2% above the rate of inflation.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Beer is an iconic British drink, yet the impact of blunt duty increases has further hit our ability to generate economic activity to help pull Britain out of recession.
“By treating beer differently in duty rates, we can support a home-grown industry and safeguard thousands of jobs.”