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"Time to back our pubs!" says Jill Hope

November 12, 2012 4:44 PM
Originally published by Corby Liberal Democrats

Parliamentary candidate for Corby, Jill Hope has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to back Britain's beer and pub sector by calling time on planned punitive tax increases in the next Budget. Jill Hope has joined over 100,000 people who have signed an e-petition supporting pleas from industry and consumers groups, including the British Beer and Pub Association, the Society of Independent Brewers and the Campaign for Real Ale, for the Chancellor to abandon the planned +5% hike in beer duty, saving over 5,000 jobs in the next 12 months alone.

According to analysis by leading economists Oxford Economics:

• The beer and pub sector sustains 70,109 jobs in the East Midlands region.

• This includes 1,374 jobs in Corby and 399 jobs for 16 - 24 year olds, who have been hit hard by the economic slowdown.

• The sector also contributes £10 million in taxes to the regional economy.

• In total the beer and pub sector supports almost 1 million UK jobs and 46% of those employed in the sector are 16 to 24 year olds.

Commenting on the campaign, Jill Hope said: "These figures show how important the brewing and pub sector is to Corby. I hope the Chancellor will take action to protect these jobs by scrapping the controversial beer duty escalator. This will also help our much-loved local pubs, the communities they serve and the important local facilities they provide."

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA said: "Our sector provides vital youth employment and has the potential to create many more jobs.

"Britons now pay 40% of the EU beer tax bill, but only consume 13% of the beer sold in Europe. Where is the common good in taxing one of life's simple pleasures - sharing a beer with friends - out of existence? The Treasury loses, manufacturing loses, pubs close.

"The Government says it wants a budget for growth and pub friendly policies. Ending the beer duty escalator will deliver both."