The British Beer and Pub Association has praised support by MPs who have called on the Chancellor to back the 250,000 supporters of the Long Live the Local campaign by cutting beer duty at the upcoming budget.
This week, MPs supported the campaign in a Westminster Hall debate on taxation on beer and pubs, secured by Mike Wood MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group.
More than 50 MPs from all parties and nations of the United Kingdom attended the debate. They spoke in support of fairer tax treatment for the sector in order to boost British brewing and pubs.
Treasury Minister Simon Clarke MP recognised the challenges facing the sector and undertook to ensure that the views were heard inside the Department.
The BBPA has now called on the Chancellor to support the beer and pub sector with its Budget submission. The submission highlights the important economic contribution of the beer and pub sector with 900,000 people relying on the industry for work.
Nationally, the sector adds nearly £23 billion to the economy, paying £13 billion in taxes.
In the debate Mike Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South said: "Beer duty remains much too high. It is much higher than in any other major beer-producing country in Europe.
"In fact, someone who bought a pint in each of the five other major beer-producing countries—Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Poland—would still have paid less duty on those five pints than they would on a single pint in Britain."
Andy Tighe, Policy Director at the BBPA, said: "It was great to hear so much cross-party support for beer and pubs from MPs in Parliament. The Long Live the Local campaign has achieved widespread recognition that the sector remains overtaxed, and that further tax rises in the Budget are unsustainable.
"We now need the government to turn this goodwill into further action, with a cut in beer duty and to announce a review of business rates in the Budget on the 11th March."
David Cunningham, Programme Director of the Long Live the Local campaign, said: "I was pleased that so many MPs acknowledge the large amount of correspondence they had received from their constituents supporting the campaign.
"So far, more than 128,000 people have written to their MP, 250,000 people have signed a petition and 25,000 publicans are backing the campaign in their pubs – evidence of just how much they care about our local pubs and breweries."