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Britain’s oldest brewer urges support for petition to halt excessive beer tax
Shepherd Neame is urging the people of Kent to get behind a petition to halt huge rises in the tax on beer, which are threating jobs and job creation across the UK.
The petition already has the support of 49,000 people nationwide and needs to reach 100,000 in order to trigger a debate in parliament on the impact of beer taxes on the UK brewing and pub industry.
The petition has the full backing the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and leading industry body, the British Beer & Pub Association.
Around one million jobs depend on the beer and pub trade in Britain, yet the Government is sticking to the controversial beer tax escalator policy of the previous administration. This means that since March 2008, beer tax has risen by a massive 42 per cent, beer sales have fallen and thousands of pubs have closed.
Approximately 4,500 people work in Shepherd Neame’s brewery and pub estate and paid £28.5 million of excise duty on beer in 2011.
Mr Neame comments: “In spite of duty rising by 42 per cent, the government has only increased revenue by 10 per cent. Beer duty has become a highly inefficient way of raising revenue, but by increasing the rate, the potential for the industry to reinvest in pubs and create jobs has been restricted.
“Our sector employs one in twelve 18–24 years olds in the UK, this is the age range where jobs are most needed in our economy. The beer and pub industry can provide those jobs, but not while this government policy remains in place.
The 'Stop the beer duty escalator' petition can be found here.