James Gray, North Wiltshire MP has pledged support for a campaign targeted towards helping pubs in north Wiltshire remain open. This came on the heels of a beer duty freeze in last week’s budget despite calls by the MP for beer tax to be cut. The Long Live The Local Campaign petition has been signed by more than 100,000 people including the MP for North Wiltshire.
As it stands currently, more than 33% of money spent in any UK pub is going directly to the tax man. This means that British drinkers pay almost 40% on beer tax across the EU even though they may end up drinking about 12% of the beer. The imposed beer tax is expected to have a significant effect on the fortunes of pubs in the country, a development that particularly affects Wiltshire, as brewing and pubs account for more than 1200 jobs and contribute an excess of £29.0m to the local economy.
According to James Gray, “Pubs are at the heart of communities across North Wiltshire, and the government should consider cutting the tax on beer seeing as it results in at least three pubs closing their doors for good every day”.
In the same vein, chief executive of British Beer and Pub Association, Brigid Simmonds, pointed out that “Beer duty has increased significantly over the past 17 years and the UK now has the highest tax rates for beer in all of Europe”.
“Because two thirds of the alcoholic beverages bought in pubs are beers, a beer tax cut will help protect the pub businesses in the area”.