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Could increasing beer duty be the end of the pub?

The number of pubs going bust is rising because of tax increases on beer. That's what industry experts have told the Government, as the issue is debated in Parliament.

The Government's beer tax escalator was introduced in 2008, and means a rise of two per cent plus inflation every year. Brewers say unless it's scrapped, many more pubs will be forced to close.

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Local MP urged to support scrapping of 'beer tax'

Breweries are calling on Patrick Mercer to support the scrapping of the beer tax
Breweries are calling on Patrick Mercer to support the scrapping of the beer tax Credit: PA

A local brewery is urging local MP Patrick Mercer to show their support for Newark's brewing and pub trade in Parliament next week, following the granting of a vital debate on the huge tax burden being faced by the industry.

The Government refused today to cut an inflation-busting tax on beer - but pledged to keep it under review.

The tax on beer has risen by 42% since it was introduced in March 2008 and is blamed for an ever-rising number of pub closures.

MP says beer tax is crippling pubs

by Alison MacKenzie

A debate took place today on the Government's controversial "beer tax escalator" policy.

It was introduced back in March 2008, raising the duty on beer by 2% above the rate of inflation.

Andrew Griffiths MP for Burton said beer duty had risen by a "crippling" 42% since 2008, with sales plunging 16% - the equivalent of 1.5 billion pints - depriving the Treasury of tax from lost sales.

He added: "The point about an escalator is that you stop when you get to the top.

"We have reached the top of the escalator and we are in danger of going off the edge of a cliff."

Calls to axe the duty have attracted cross-party support in the run-up to Chancellor George Osborne's autumn statement on December 5.

Fears for the future of local pubs and Britain's historic breweries increased after it was revealed 5,800 pubs had shut since the escalator's introduction four years ago, as pints became more expensive.

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