Written by RICH GUTTRIDGE
A CAMPAIGN to freeze beer duty, spearheaded by Burton’s MP, has gained the support of 100 fellow politicians.
Signatures on the early day motion calling for a freeze have now surpassed the 100 mark, increasing the pressure Chancellor George Osborne ahead of his Budget announcement later this month.
The brewing industry has had a bumper year, with many observers attributing the Chancellor’s decision to cut duty – as well as scrap the tax-hiking beer duty escalator – as being a major reason for the success.
An extra 33 million pints of beer were sold last year, with more than 700 breweries reporting an 80 per cent sales hike.
As chairman of the all-party parliamentary beer group, Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths has been particularly vocal on the issue and is hoping the Chancellor will deliver good news for the second successive year.
He said: “The cut in beer duty last year was a historic, confidence-building measure for this vital sector.
“But more action is needed. It will take many years to undo the damage and at the very least, a freeze is needed.
“At very little cost, the Chancellor can protect 2,400 jobs in a great British industry. It is a win-win situation.”