UK: A beer and pub trade body has ramped up its campaign to prevent further drinks tax hikes.
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has launched the ‘Axe the Beer Tax – Save the Pub’ campaign in British tabloid newspaper The Sun. Readers are being urged to ‘TEXT the Chancellor’ to prevent him from raising Beer Tax in next month’s Budget.
Chancellor Alistair Darling increased Beer Tax by 18 per cent in last year’s Budget, and plans to raise it again next month. However, there are clear signs that his new proposals to put up Beer Tax are increasingly unpopular:
· A public opinion poll last month found that 70 per cent of the British public believed that the Chancellor is not justified in raising Beer Tax in the forthcoming budget.
· 198 Members of Parliament from all political parties have now signed a Parliamentary Motion (EDM 10: ‘Save the Great British Pub’) which calls on the Chancellor to scrap the planned Beer Tax increase in the Budget.
· Prime Minister Gordon Brown just a fortnight ago, said that he did not want the majority of moderate drinkers “to have to pay more” for the excesses of a minority.
BBPA chief executive David Long said: “We know from opinion polls how unpopular the Chancellor’s proposals to increase Beer Tax are. We also know how unpopular they are in Parliament. Even the Prime Minister doesn’t seem to like them.
“Now it’s your chance to tell Mr Darling directly what you think about them. By texting the word ‘LOBBY’ to 81025, a message will be sent directly to the Chancellor urging him not to put up Beer Tax any more.”