Brewers of Europe has written to MEPs about the proposed tax rise on beer in France

Brewers of Europe has written to MEPs about the proposed tax rise on beer in France

The trade body for Europe's brewers has attacked a tax rise set to be introduced on beer in France.

Earlier this month, the French government said it intended to introduce a duty increase on beer to help reduce the country's social security deficit. French trade organisation Brasseurs de France said at the time that the move would lead to an average increase in the price of beer - all distribution channels included - of 15%.

The Brewers of Europe said today (31 October) that it has condemned the move, after the proposal was passed by the French National Assembly yesterday.

The 160% rise in beer tax would “strike a death blow to thousands of jobs the sector supports”, the organisation said.

In an open letter to MEPs, Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, secretary general of The Brewers of Europe, said: “Europe’s 3,500 breweries, present in every single EU country, doubt the means, which penalise one sector to the point of preparing its demise.

The French brewing sector needs support,” the letter continues. “However, French brewers are not asking for subsidies.” Bergeron cited figures from just-drinks that show the French wine industry, “which is not subject to excise duty at anywhere near the levels of the beer industry”, received EUR260m (US$338.2m) in Government support” in 2009.

The tax hike will go up before the French Senate next week.