Published on October 26th, 2012 | by Dean Carr
Beer duty to be debated in parliament
Parliament are to review the future of the beer duty escalator at the end of the month. A debate in Commons, taking place on the 1 November, will respond to a motion for the review of beer duty taxation.
Crucially, the timing of the debate offers the prospect of a revised beer duty rate in time for the budget of 2013.
What is the beer duty escalator?
Beer duty is automatically increased by 2% above inflation every year, a policy known as the beer duty escalator. Introduced under Brown’s Labour government in 2008, the beer duty escalator is currently fixed until 2014/15.
The impact of taxation
Tax on beer has increased by over 40% since the year of the policy’s introduction, 2008. Over a third of the price of an average pint covers taxes: mainly Excise Duty (beer duty) and VAT.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has argued that further increases in beer duty will make it even more difficult for struggling pubs to survive and damage the long term growth of the brewing industry.
Opposition to the beer duty escalator
Along with the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), CAMRA is calling for the Chancellor to abandon the unfair beer duty escalator in the next Budget.
Resistance to the beer duty escalator has been supported by indignant backbenchers from all parties, some of whom chair parliamentary groups in support of pubs and the brewing industry. The parliamentary debate, meanwhile, has been mandated after a government e-petition calling on the abandonment of the beer duty escalator. On 20 September 2012, this e-petition exceeded the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a Parliamentary debate. The petition is only the 12th Government e-petition – out of over 16,000 submitted – to have ever reached this vital figure.
CAMRA are urging people to petition their local MPs to attend the debate.