Brewery bosses toast decision to scrap beer duty escalator
BREWERS have welcomed the decision to scrap the beer duty escalator and to take one pence off the price of a pint.
Keith Bott, of Titanic Brewery, in Burslem, was among industry leaders who campaigned to scrap the duty which has seen beer taxes hiked by 42 per cent since 2008.
He believes the move is likely to lead to more investment in local pubs from small and medium sized brewers such as Titanic, which has opened six pubs in six years. Up until 2007, Titanic brewery had just one pub – the Bulls Head, Burslem.
Mr Bott, chairman of brewers' association SIBA said: "This move makes sense.
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"Community pubs are part of the fabric of British society.
"Our pubs also offer a chance of employment for many people including young workers.
"Since Titanic Brewery was founded in 1985, we have grown from two employees to employing 150 people across Staffordshire but our growth was hindered by ever increasing levels of duty.
"Now we can move on, confident that our future investments will be in a sustainable business.
"Thanks should go to the many MPs who have backed the campaign organised by CAMRA, the British Beer and Pub Association and SIBA."
"In particular, I would like to thank our local MP in Stoke-on-Trent North, Joan Walley and Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton.
"Both have worked tirelessly."
Ms Walley made an impassioned plea to the Chancellor to scrap the Beer Tax Escalator during a Parliamentary debate this month.
Although she said she believed the country would suffer from further austerity measures, she welcomed the end to the beer duty escalator.
She said: "Overall the budget does nothing for growth and the next spending review in June will commit us to even more cuts and austerity.
"For us in Stoke-on-Trent, the challenge is for the LEP to secure local funding, arising from the Chancellor's acceptance of the Michael Heseltine Review to promote growth.
"The longstanding campaign we waged for ceramics has paid dividends as has the campaign we waged to end the beer escalator. Titanic Brewery has led this campaign and this will help local pubs."