I know a lot has been said about scrapping the beer duty escalator. However, I felt obliged to comment on the Governments negative reaction to the recent debate in parliament.
They are quite simply not in tune with the situation. They have come out, once again with some ill judged and blinkered comments in my opinion. How can they just ignore the despair in the UK beer industry?
What has prompted me to ascend to my 'soap box' again is the latest blinkered bleat by a Government spokesman from the Treasury. Step forward the member for Bromsgrove, Sajid Javid. He claims that scrapping the duty will cost the Government £35 million in duty next year. £35 million! Have you any idea what you will lose in revenue from the pub closures? A lot more than a piddling £35 million.You would think Mr Javid would understand the situation better than most, having formerly been employed by Deutsche Bank as a credit trading and commodities expert. He also comes from a down to earth, working class background. Born in Rochdale, the son of a bus driver. Went to the local comprehensive. Then went on to University, before having a highly successful career in the world of finance.
Once again he and his department did not seem to take the overwhelming factors, mentioned in the previous paragraph, in to consideration. There are 18 pubs a week closing, having increased recently from 16. What about all the lost tax they will be losing? Not forgetting all the various VAT receipts, through these closures. It simply does not add up.
The last four years as we know, has seen a whopping 42% increase in beer duty. It's scandalous that the pub goer has had to fork out so much tax. The Government even had the nerve to say they were 'pub friendly'. Deluded in the extreme, in my view. And I am not of any political persuasion. Just passionate about our beer heritage and getting a fair deal!
In conclusion, can I just say that I fear if the beer tax escalator is allowed to continue along its unjust path, it will no doubt discourage more drinkers from our boozers and give more money to the large supermarkets. And of course all that will mean, the rise in pub closures and the loss of people's livelihoods will continue to escalate .