AHEAD of tomorrow's Budget, Chancellor George Osborne is coming under increasing pressure in his own constituency of Tatton to call time on the alcohol duty escalator.
Andrew Burke, landlord of the Cross Keys Hotel in Knutsford, is urging George Osborne to scrap the alcohol duty escalator.
Andrew, a supporter of the Call Time on Duty Campaign, said: “George Osborne needs to show that he understands how important wine and spirit sales are to the pub trade. Wine and spirits are absolutely vital to pubs like mine, and I know lots of landlords would say the same.
“I think George Osborne deserves credit for scrapping the alcohol duty escalator for beer last year, but now he needs to finish the job. Unless he scraps the escalator in his Budget next week, pubs in Tatton are going to be hit with an enormous tax bill because of this escalator, which still applies to wine and spirits.
“Responsible drinkers are going to be subject to tax rates of more than 80 per cent for spirits and almost 60 per cent for wine, and I’m going to have less money to hire local bar staff. How is that fair? My message is simple: Be fair, George, and scrap this damaging escalator now.”
Ending the duty escalator would help pubs, bars and restaurants as wine and spirit sales already account for 42 per cent of the value of products sold in the hospitality sector.
Maintaining the escalator for wine and spirits in last year’s Budget hit pubs, bars and restaurants with an additional £34 million tax bill.
The Government is currently due to increase duty on wine and spirits by two per cent above inflation, despite evidence that abolishing the escalator one year early would actually increase revenue to the Exchequer.
The ‘Call Time on Duty’ campaign wants supporters to email their local MP and ask them to write to the Chancellor through calltimeonduty.co.uk , which calls for the alcohol super tax to be scrapped in the forthcoming Budget.