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Beer Tax Escalator

Newark MP Patrick Mercer will be speaking in a parliamentary debate today on the Government's controversial "beer tax escalator" policy.

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  1. Alison MacKenzie

MP says beer tax is crippling pubs

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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