Budget 2013 Sees 'Penny Off A Pint' As 'Duty Escalator' Scrapped From Beer Tax

The Chancellor brought some cheer to the nation's beer drinkers by scrapping a duty escalator blamed for closing pubs - and going further by cutting duty by 1p.

The beer industry and campaign groups have been warning the government that the escalator, which has added 2% to the price of a pint since it was introduced by Labour in 2008, was forcing pubs out of business.

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) gathered more than 100,000 names on a petition which led to a parliamentary debate last year.

The widely-loathed beer duty escalator has been scrapped

Camra pointed out that beer duty has risen 42% since 2008, adding that 18 pubs a week are closing.

George Osborne told MPs that 10,000 pubs have closed in the past decade.

Duty on alcohol will not be cut, but the Chancellor said the beer duty escalator will be scrapped, preventing a 3p rise this year.

Osborne drew cheers from MPs when he said he intended to go further, by cutting beer duty 1p from Sunday evening.

Simon Cox, managing director of Molson Coors, which brews Carling, said: "This cut in beer duty is a very welcome move to help get a great British industry back into growth.

"We are pleased the Chancellor has listened to Britain's beer drinkers and we are grateful to our local MP, Andrew Griffiths, for his tireless efforts to champion beer."

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