|Chancellor reported to be ready to freeze beer duty rates in Budget|
|Written by Richard Siddle|
|Tuesday, 19 March 2013 23:44|
A specially timed poll showing large public support for a freeze in beer duty by the British Beer & Pub Association was published in Tuesday's Sun. The paper is claiming in tomorrow's paper that the Chancellor is looking to give beer drinkers the equivalent of a 6p cut in the price of the average pint by freezing the duty escalator on beer.
This follows reports on the major 24 hour news channels that the Chancellor would make up any freeze on beer duty by turning to other alcohol taxes which could be bad news for the wine and spirits sector.
The BBPA poll found supporters of a tax freeze outnumber those who oppose the move by almost two to one (57% to 30%). The survey claims more people want the Chancellor to support pubs in the Budget than any other type of business listed in the poll, except high street retailers. This reflects concerns over the future of our town centres, where pubs are also vital businesses that are being hard hit, claimed the BBPA.
Its poll found that men, and those aged 25-64, want to see the Chancellor supporting pubs in the Budget, and a freeze in beer duty. Support for the measure is strongest among skilled manual workers [social grade C2] at 66% and in the North East (69%)and North West (64%).
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA said: "It's clear there is huge public support for British beer and pubs - for a tax freeze, and for an end to the hugely damaging beer tax escalator. It is a simple measure that would cost the Treasury nothing in revenues, would help pubs and create jobs. The Chancellor has just 24 hours to make a difference. I hope he is listening."
The BBPA survey was conducted by ComRes which interviewed 2,009 British adults online between March 13-15.