CAMPAIGNERS for the abolition of the beer duty escalator are celebrating after securing 100,000 signatures on a petition which will now force a Parliamentary debate.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) — which has been working with Burton brewers Molson Coors, in High Street, and Marston’s, in Shobnall Road — revealed that the petition had become only the 12th Government e-petition — out of more than 16,000 submitted — to have reached the landmark number.
The beer duty escalator, introduced by the last Government in 2008 and continued by the coalition, automatically increases duty levels by two per cent above inflation every year.
As a result, tax on beer has increased by more than 40 per cent since 2008, with a third of every pub pint now being swallowed in tax.
More than 4,500 pubs have closed across the country since the escaltor was introduced.
Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths said: “Congratulations to everyone at CAMRA and the British Beer and Pub Association for getting more than 100,000 signatures for the ‘scrap the beer tax’ petition.
“So here’s the next challenge — how many MPs can we get to attend the debate in Parliament when we get one? “This campaign has succeeded in terms of highlighting the damage the beer duty escalator has on the pub industry and how much we are paying for every pint we purchase at our favourite pub.”
With a Parliamentary debate now in prospect, CAMRA is ramping up the pressure on the Government by announcing it is to hold a mass Parliamentary lobby in Westminster on Wednesday, December 12.
More than 1,000 people are expected to attend from all corners of the UK to voice their discontent at the ‘punitive tax increases’ on beer.
Those attending are to be asked to speak to their MPs to seek their support to protect the nation’s historic beer and pub industry.
CAMRA national chairman Colin Valentine said: “Joining a very small minority of e-petitions to have ever reached the 100,000 landmark is a mammoth achievement, and it’s been fantastic to witness the beer and pub industry uniting to fight back against this issue.”