Report warns over beer tax rises

Man drinking beerA pint of beer in a pub with friends is becoming more unaffordable as they continue to suffer from lost sales because of "sharp rises" in tax and VAT, according to a new report.

The British Beer & Pub Association said pub beer sales were down by 4.3% from July to September compared with last year - equivalent to 45 million fewer pints over the quarter - while sales increased in supermarkets and off-licences.
Brigid Simmonds, the association's chief executive, said: "There is no doubt that pubs continue to bear the brunt of Britain's punitive tax policies on beer.

"We've seen beer tax rise by 35% since March 2008, with Britons now paying an astonishing 40% of all the beer taxes collected in the entire European Union. This is still shutting pubs and costing jobs, in a sector that could create growth in the economy.
"We know that given the right tax and regulatory environment we can grow the sector, hiring more staff, adding to the nation's wealth and maintaining our proud pub heritage.

"We certainly don't need the further beer tax rises the Government is planning under a misguided tax escalator policy. Instead, we want to welcome everyone to support their local pub and play their part in their local community."

© 2011 Press Association
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