South Yorkshire MP and former pubs minister John Healey has also welcomed news that the price of pint is coming down. Mr Healey asked the Chancellor to do just that on Budget Day 2012, in a bid to stop pub closures and falling beer sales.
The beer-loving MP repeated his calls earlier this month in joining a campaign calling for a freeze in beer duty organised by the British Beer & Pub Association, CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers). He said today:
The beer and pub industry is worth millions to the local economy, and people rightly value their local as the hub of their community. I want this to be the first step the Government take towards recognising this and giving a lot more support to pubs.
The all party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group has welcomed the scrapping of the beer duty escalator and a 1p reduction in beer duty. Greg Mulholland, the MP for Leeds North West and chair of the committee and said:
I am absolutely delighted that the Chancellor, George Osborne has today listened to the arguments against this unfair tax and brought it to an early end and reduced beer duty by 1p. This will be a boost to claims of being a pro pub Government. It has been evident to see that as a result of the reduced duty under the Small Breweries Relief we now have a thriving brewing industry, with over 1,000 breweries in the UK, the most the UK has seen for over 70 years. I_ am delighted that the chancellor has today made a vote of confidence in Britain’s breweries._
“It is also good news for pubs, as supermarkets were able to absorb the increase in the price of beer, pubs were simply not able to and this was further increasing the difference between a can in the supermarket and a pint in the pub, which is a controlled and sociable environment. So I am delighted that it has today being brought to an end.
We applaud this budget. The Chancellor has stuck to his guns and held his nerve - which is exactly what we wanted to see. Deficit reduction is not an optional policy, it is an absolute necessity, and he is right to reject the siren calls to abandon it.
Businesses will be glad that George Osborne has also continued the downward pressure on Corporation Tax. Britain must become the most competitive place to do business, and lower taxes will attract welcome investment from abroad.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said Chancellor George Osborne has "pulled out all the stops" with a "wide-ranging package" of measures to support small businesses.
National chairman of the FSB John Walker said, "The housing initiative will help reinvigorate the construction sector in which many of our members operate".
"National Insurance cut goes beyond what we were asking for and we are pleased to see the scrapping of the 3p fuel duty due in September", he added.
- New Employment Allowance will take the first £2,000 off the employer National Insurance bill of every company in the country
- Around 450,000 small businesses - one third of all employers - will pay no employer National Insurance at all after introduction of Employment Allowance in April next year
- Small firms will be given help through Government procurement budgets, growth vouchers and controls on regulators' charges
- The Capital Gains Tax holiday will be extended
- Corporation tax to be reduced by a further 1% to 20% in April 2015
- Small company and main rates of corporation tax merged at 20p
Here are some of the measures announced by Chancellor George Osborne that could affect voters' wallets:
- Rise in personal allowance brought forward to 2014, meaning no income tax on the first £10,000 of earnings
- Tax free child care vouchers worth £1,200 per child and increased support for families with children on universal credit
- Flat rate pension worth £144 a week to be brought forward to 2016
- Fuel duty rise scrapped
- Help for Equitable Life policy holders extended to those who bought with-profits annuities before 1992, with payments of £5,000 and extra £5,000 for those on lowest incomes
- Planned 3p rise in beer duty tax scrapped and replaced by a 1p cut in duty on a pint of beer
- New Help-to-Buy scheme for those struggling to find mortgage deposits will include £3.5 billion for shared equity loans, and a Government interest-free loan worth 20% of the value of a new build house
- Cap-on social care costs to come in in 2017 and protect savings above £72,000
Responding to the budget, Labour leader Ed Miliband said Britain would be "worse off in 2015 than it was in 2010".
Ending his statement, the Chancellor described the statement as a Budget for "a Britain that wants to be prosperous, solvent and free".
The new Employment Allowance will take the first £2,000 off the employer National Insurance bill of every company in the country.
Around 450,000 small busineses - one third of all employers - will pay no employer National Insurance at all after introduction of Employment Allowance in April next year.