The drinks and pub company execs have called for a "new approach" to beer tax

The drinks and pub company execs have called for a "new approach" to beer tax

A group of drink and pub company senior executives has written to UK Chancellor George Osborne, warning the latest beer tax hike will have a “devastating effect” on the sector.

In the letter, seen by just-drinks this week, the 33 executives urge a “new approach” to beer tax following the 7.5% Budget increase last month

“The sector has the potential to sustain and create thousands more jobs across the UK, generate economic activity and help lead the country out of recession. But, only if we have a fair policy environment,” the British Beer & Pub Association-headed letter states.

The bosses – including Anheuser-Busch InBev UK's president, Stuart MacFarlane, and Carlsberg UK’s CEO, Isaac Sheps – argue the Treasury has over-estimated beer duty income by “hundreds of millions of pounds” in recent years.

“Beer duty has now risen by a staggering 52% since 2004, whereas beer duty revenues have only risen by 8%,” the letter states.  

However, a Treasury spokesman countered: “Alcohol duties make a substantial contribution to Exchequer tax revenues, providing important support to the UK’s public finances and deficit reduction plan.”