MPs urged to support pub trade


A Cornish brewery is urging the region’s MPs to show their support for the brewing and pub trade in Parliament next week, following the granting of a debate on the tax burden being faced by the industry.

The debate in Parliament calls on the Government to review its controversial “beer tax escalator” policy, which has seen the tax on beer rise by 42% since it was introduced in March 2008. The debate is to take place next Thursday, November 1.

James Staughton, MD of St Austell Brewery, said: “The debate shows the huge scale of concern that this constant hike in tax is putting on the brewing and pub industry.

“Pubs play a vital role in our local economy and it essential that MPs support our plight. 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 (CAMRA) and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

“Duty and VAT on beer cost the typical pub around £66k per year, and tax is now on average over a pound a pint. 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, which is just not possible with this excessive taxation.”

Staughton, who is also Chairman of the Independent Family Brewers of Britain, added: “I hope all the south west’s MPs, will heed local concerns, attend this important debate and support our local pub trade by voting for a review of the beer duty escalator.”