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24th September 2012

Beer tax e-petition reaches landmark 100,000 signatures

Mass Parliamentary Lobby announced for December 12th– over 1,000 people expected to participate

Issued: Thursday September 20th 2012
Status: For immediate use

Consumers demand an end to above inflation rises in beer tax-

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is today delighted to celebrate with other members of the beer and pub industry as the Government e-petition calling on the abandonment of the beer duty escalator has exceeded the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a Parliamentary debate. The petition is only the 12th Government e-petition – out of over 16,000 submitted – to have ever reached the 100,000 landmark.

The beer duty escalator, introduced by the last Government in 2008, and continued by the coalition, has successively penalised Britain’s beer drinkers by automatically increasing duty levels by 2% above inflation every year. As a result, tax on beer has increased by over 40% since 2008, with a third of every pub pint now being swallowed in tax. Over 4,500 pubs have also closed over this same period.

CAMRA has invested significant resources into campaigning against the beer duty escalator, and major breakthroughs in the lead up to the petition securing 100,000 signatures included over 15,000 beer drinkers adding their names to it over the course of the Great British Beer Festival, held at London’s Olympia at the beginning of August (7th-11th).

With a Parliamentary debate now in prospect, CAMRA is ramping up the pressure on Government by announcing it is to hold a Mass Parliamentary Lobby in Westminster on Wednesday December 12th, with over 1,000 people expected to attend from all corners of the UK to voice their discontent at punitive tax increases on Britain’s National Drink. Attendees will be asking to speak to their respective local MPs, and seeking their support to protect the nation’s historic beer and pub industry.

Colin Valentine, CAMRA National Chairman, said:

‘Joining a very small minority of e-petitions to have ever reached the 100,000 landmark is a mammoth achievement, and it’s been fantastic to witness the beer and pub industry uniting to fight back against this issue.

‘Over the last 6 months, CAMRA has been collecting signatures at beer festivals, organising local campaigning events, as well as supplying pubs with petition material. On CAMRA’s part, we have devoted a great amount of resources to this campaign, so we are delighted this has all paid off.

‘CAMRA’s next step is not to rest on our laurels but to maintain the impetus with our Mass Parliamentary Lobby, which will reinforce to MPs the groundswell of support for this campaign. With all the battering it has taken, the beer and pub sector still manages to contribute over £21 billion a year to the UK’s GDP, and supports one million jobs, so it’s about time the Government honoured its pledge to be “pub friendly*”.’


Notes to editors-
*David Cameron in Prime Minister’s Questions, November 3rd 2010

CAMRA launched a beer tax e-petition microsite – ‘Save Your Pint’ – back in March to gather mass support for the petition-

For further information-
CAMRA Press Office, 01727 798443
Jon Howard, CAMRA Press Manager, 07939 425471
Jonathan Mail, CAMRA Head of Public Affairs, 07720 724733