A huge petition with more than 105,000 names behind it is calling for an end to the price of beer going up. It is hoped that the huge campaign will persuade Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut beer tax to save pubs from closing when he delivers his Budget later this month. At the moment, the Long Live the Local campaign says one in every three pounds spent in pubs goes to the taxman.
Beer duty increased year on year between 2008 and 2013 when the government put a Beer Duty escalator in place. Campaigners claim that ‘within five years there was a 24% decline in beer sales, 5,000 pubs closed and 58,000 people lost their jobs’.
Model Jodie Kidd – who owns The Half Moon pub in Kirdford, Sussex – is handing the petition to 10 Downing Street today calling to save the price of pints.
She said: ‘Local pubs like my own bring people together and are at the heart of communities. ‘However, mounting financial pressures mean that for many it is already a struggle just to keep their doors open. ‘The Chancellor must act now to protect our local pubs. ‘An increase in beer duty on October 29 will continue to cripple our pubs with communities bearing the cost.’
The petition has been organised by the Long Live The Local campaign, whose programme director David Cunningham said: ‘Our pubs and brewers not only support nearly 900,000 jobs, account for £11.1 billion in wages and pay £13 billion in taxes, but they are also vital for our high streets and highly valued by communities. ‘Despite this, beer duty in the UK is already taxed at three times the EU average and 12 times higher than in Germany and Spain. ‘If the Chancellor raises beer duty in line with RPI inflation as planned, the result could be catastrophic. ‘Based on current closure rates, we estimate that within five years more than one in 10 pubs in the UK could close for good, costing thousands of jobs.’