Comment for the Belfast Telegraph ahead of 2013 Budget
19 March 2013
“With speculation rising ahead of this week’s Budget announcement, one thing that is almost certain is that the pub industry will be hit with another increase in beer duty.
“Whilst the Chancellor may not directly increase tax, the industry is still likely to be facing an increase in duty thanks to the beer duty escalator. The escalator, which was introduced four years ago under the then Labour government, means that duty on beer increases automatically by 2 per cent more than inflation every year. Therefore, we are expecting a duty increase of 5% at this week’s Budget.
“Pubs of Ulster has lobbied extensively on the issue of beer duty, highlighting the impact of on-going taxation in terms of jobs and the overall health and survival of the industry. Earlier this month, we travelled to Westminster for a debate on duty and met with the Shadow Pubs Minister and the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pubs Group, to discuss the urgent need to bring an end to further increases in duty.
“Ahead of the announcement on Wednesday, we call on the Chancellor to abolish the beer duty escalator. For the sake of the industry’s future, we hope he listens.”