The Government is victimising the brewing industry, and putting jobs in Burton at risk according to the Conservative parliamentary candidate.
The comments came as the chancellor Alistair Darling admitted to MPs that he made a mistake in raising duty on Scotch whisky, which would have led to a 29p rise in the price of a bottle, and performed an embarrassing u-turn. However, he failed to take similar action to support the ailing brewing industry.
Conservative Parliamentary candidate Andrew Griffiths said,
“Burton was built on beer; it is part of our history and thousands of people rely on it for the future. I am shocked that brewing is the only industry that the Chancellor thinks does not warrant any support. He is borrowing billions of pounds to bail out the banking industry, and as a scot himself, I should not be surprised that he back tracked and helped the Scottish whisky industry. But the beer trade has really suffered recently, and thousands of jobs are in jeopardy as a result of the governments actions. Why should whisky get a tax break, but not Burton beer?”
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has expressed surprise at today’s announcement by the Government that it intends to reduce the tax rate on spirits and alcopops.