RISHI Sunak has been urged to slash the UK’s sky high tax on beer in today’s Budget in a bid to save Britain’s beloved pubs.
The UK currently pays £3.6BILLION in lager duty every year – that’s more than Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland and Ireland combined.
Meanwhile, almost 12,000 businesses which sell booze have shut their doors for good in a little over a year, new figures show.
Alcohol prices usually rise each year in the Budget in line with RPI inflation, which is currently 0.7 per cent, unless the Chancellor freezes or cuts it.
Last year, Mr Sunak froze duty on all alcoholic drinks – including beer, wine and spirits.
And with the Chancellor promising to throw the hospitality industry a lifeline in today’s Budget – the British Beer and Pub Association is demanding beer duty is slashed, reports say.
They have been backed by Conservative MPs who last week urged Mr Sunak to cut lager tax to help the struggling sector.
Currently, £1 in every £3 spent in a pub goes to the taxman.
Changes to alcohol duty could boost pub sales by 100 million pints a year, the Social Market Foundation said.
Pubs are expected to reopen in April for outdoor eating and drinking under the Boris Johnson‘s roadmap for leaving lockdown.
Diners and drinkers will be able to head in doors from May 17 – as long as Covid infection rates and deaths remain low.
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The Treasury undertook a review on alcohol duty last year.
But customers will have to follow a strict set of rules when pubs and restaurants do open again.
However, the hated 10pm curfew will be scrapped and drinkers won’t have to order a substantial meal with their alcohol.
The Beer and Pub Association has warned that boozers will miss out on billions in lost takings and many could shut thanks to the PM’s cautious unlocking plan.