Brains is urging MPs in Wales to get behind the brewing and pub trade by showing their support in Parliament this week, following the granting of a vital debate on the huge tax burden being faced by our brewers and pubs.
The debate in Parliament takes place on Thursday 1st November and calls on the Government to review its controversial "beer tax escalator" policy, which has seen the tax on beer rise by a staggering 42 per cent since it was introduced in March 2008.
Scott Waddington, Chief Executive of Brains, says the beer and pub industry plays a vital role in the Welsh economy. 50,000 jobs are sustained by the 3,500 pubs and 47 breweries in Wales, and the sector is worth £845 million to the economy.
A petition signed by over 100,000 people has been the catalyst for action, after a national campaign involving MPs, the Campaign for Real Ale and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). Waddington says that if the Government abandons plans for further big tax hikes, jobs and pubs could be boosted in Wales:
"Brewing and pubs are absolutely vital to the Welsh economy. Duty and VAT on beer cost the typical pub around £66,000 per year. We have seen huge increases in our tax burden, and any further rises are just not sustainable. We want to be creating more local jobs and wealth in Wales, which is certainly possible without huge tax hikes, every year.
"I hope MPs in Wales will listen to these concerns, attend this important debate and support our regional brewing and pub trade by voting for a review of the beer duty escalator."
Beer Tax - more key figures:
• Beer tax (Duty plus VAT) per pub: £66,500
• Average price of a pub pint of beer: £3.17
• Duty on a 5 per cent pint of beer: 55p
• Beer duty increase since March 2008: 42%
• British Beer Tax, times higher than France: 9
• British Beer Tax, times higher than Germany: 13