Drinkers hammered by tax on pints


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The Independent Online

Drinkers in London and the South-east are paying more in beer tax than the whole of Germany, the second-biggest beer guzzlers in the world.

According to the British Beer & Pub Association this shows the urgent need for a beer duty freeze in the Budget next week.

Since 2008, beer tax has risen by 42 per cent. The UK duty bill stands at £3.5bn, with London and the South-east paying £804m a year. This compares with just £664m paid by all the beer drinkers in Germany. Beer tax in Britain is now 13 times higher than in Germany. A further, above-inflation rise is planned in the Budget on 20 March.

Brigid Simmonds, the BBPA chief executive, said: "It is absurd that our region pays more beer tax than the whole of Germany. Londoners cannot afford another tax hike.

"The beer and pub trade is vital to the capital, and a pint in the pub is already more expensive in London. London has 100,000 beer and pub-related jobs and we could be creating many more."