MP urges government to back British beer

John Healey MP has urged the Chancellor to back British beer.

Calling it the “first Budget 2013 representation”, the former Pubs Minister has written to George Osborne to say he is concerned the government is “overlooking and undervaluing a great British asset.”

He said: “In recent years a 52% rise in beer duty has produced a 10% increase in duty revenue and almost a 25% fall in sales.

“Unlike wine which is 99% imported and largely drunk at home, 85% of the beer drunk in Britain is made in Britain; and it is often consumed in pubs. Industry figures show the economic value of this to the UK, with one million jobs linked directly to brewing and pubs.

“Beer is a great example of British enterprise with more than 800 breweries countrywide, many of which are small independent growing companies like the Wentworth brewery in my own constituency.

“I hope you will consider beer duty rates carefully in the next Budget but can I urge you to look hard now at the new opportunity to adjust the beer/wine ratio.”

To read Mr Healey’s letter to the Chancellor in full, click here.