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Pubs raise a glass to MPs as they call for new look at Beer Duty Escalator


Britain's beleaguered pub industry was given some hope yesterday after backbench MPs forced the Government to look again at rules which make beer duty rise faster than inflation.

MPs overwhelmingly backed a motion calling on the Treasury to consider the "social and economic" effects of the Beer Duty Escalator, which increases the tax by 2 per cent more than inflation.

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King, welcomed the MPs' support and said: "We urge the Government to implement a review, which we hope will lead to the removal of the escalator, and will greatly benefit this traditional British industry, safeguarding jobs and contributing to long-term economic growth."

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "I am confident any review, which we hope the Government will announce, will show above-inflation increases in beer tax do not make sense – they would bring in no additional revenue for the Treasury, but at the same time threaten pubs and employment."