|Campaigned against beer tax in opposition!|
The hated beer duty escalator cracks on at an unrelenting pace. The 2% above inflation levy has bumped up beer tax by a massive 42% since its introduction in 2008.. And that leaves HM Treasury trousering a THIRD in tax, from every pint you sup!
However, what is most frustrating and galling about this beer tax, is that the present coalition government were highly critical of the levy, when they were in opposition.Now, they are happy to crank it up, year after year!
For example in the 'blue corner' step forward Jeremy Hunt, the current Health Secretary. I remember him bleating on about Labour's crippling annual beer levy. ''They are making a bad situation a whole lot worse".
And in the opposite corner, we had 'Team Clegg' who vowed in their manifesto to tackle the escalator for "unfairly penalising pubs, responsible drinkers and local industries".
Do I smell a heap load of hypocrisy here? Certainly sounds like it. As the present government continues to hammer us drinkers, publicans and the UK beer industry.
Of course, the excuses will be rolled out for pledges and promises going 'tits up'. Oh yes, times of austerity and reducing the government deficit, being the two favourites.
A further tax hike in April will no doubt lead to more pub closures and job losses. Almost 6000 pubs have locked their doors permanently, since the introduction of the escalator in 2008.
Dread to think how many jobs have been lost in the industry.
In conclusion, a plea to George Osborne to freeze the duty next month. Show some bollocks, and give some welcome news to battered beer drinkers, pub landlords and the beer industry alike.
However, don't hold your breath!