Beer duty debate rages on

05 July, 2012

Debate over the impact of beer duty will rage on after economic secretary Chloe Smith agreed to hold further meetings with MPs who claim the tax is damaging the British economy.

Ms Smith pledged to hold the meetings in a Parliament debate last night with MP Gavin Williamson, who believes beer duty is too high and is pricing people out of the market.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) welcomed the move and described the adjournment debate as a show of strength, after around 40 MPs piled into the chamber towards midnight to raise concerns about the issue.

The association believes the issue must be kept high on the agenda of MPs. An e-petition has already collected over 60,000 signatures against the duty, and a total of 100,000 will trigger a fuller debate in Parliament.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, said: “A growing number of MPs are saying that the Government’s current tax policy for beer simply doesn’t add up. 

“With Beer Tax up 42% in four years, tax revenues are being undermined, jobs are being lost, especially in pubs, and a great British manufacturing industry is thwarted from fulfilling its true potential, at home and abroad.

“Chloe Smith has said the issue will be kept under review – thanks to the many MPs from all parties who showed such strong support last night.”

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