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Roger Gale with Cole Barnard at the door of Number Ten

MPs Take "Axe the Tax" to Downing Street

April 20th 2009

An all-party group of MPs has today (Monday 20th April) taken the "Axe the Beer Tax" campaign to Downing Street with a pre-budget petition.
 
Commenting on the campaign North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, said outsside the Red Lion in Whitehall:

"As a result of the smoking ban and high taxation the british draft beer and pub industry is under severe and sustained pressure. On-sales of beer are now at their lowest level for forty years and in the region of 39 pubs are closing every week.
 
In many villages and towns the British pub is at the centre of community life and a vital ingredient in our domestic tourism offer. We simply cannot afford to see this industry and the thousands of jobs dependent upon it weakened further. 

Last year the government raised beer tax by 18% and plans an over-inflation increase for this year. With tax already representing a third of the price of a pint further increases can only hasten the decline of the pub.

It is in our national interest to encourage responsible and sociable drinking in a regulated environment rather than promote off-sales of cheap booze by supermarkets that is then often consumed in the streets leading to anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled violence."

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BBPA Red Lion Event

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