3rd March 2014
Ashley Fox, MEP for the South West, has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to back Britain’s beer and pub sector by freezing Beer Duty for the long term in the Budget. The move follows new figures showing the huge impact brewing and pubs have on the South West economy.
Britons now pay 43 per cent of the entire EU beer tax bill, but only consume 12 per cent of the beer sold in Europe. Beer taxes in the UK are now an astonishing 11 times higher than in the largest beer market, Germany.
Ashley Fox MEP is backing the campaign by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the Society of Independent Brewers and the Campaign for Real Ale, for the Chancellor to freeze beer duty for the long term, securing more than 20,000 jobs by 2020.
According to new analysis by leading economists Oxford Economics for the BBPA:
- The beer and pub sector sustains 100,309 jobs in the South West region.
- This includes 33,345 jobs for 16 – 24 year olds.
- The sector adds £1994.3 million to the South West economy.
- The sector also contributes £603.9 million in taxes to the exchequer in the region.
- In total the beer and pub sector supports over 900,000 UK jobs and 46 per cent of those employed in the sector are 16 to 24 year olds
Commenting on the campaign, Ashley Fox MEP said:
“These figures show how important the brewing and pub sector is in the South West. I hope the Chancellor will take action to protect these jobs by backing a freeze in beer duty. This will also help our much-loved pubs, the communities they serve and give British beer drinkers a break. It cannot be right that Britons are paying an unfair share of the EU beer duty bill, even after last year’s welcome beer duty cut from the Chancellor.”