Well blow me down, I nearly fell off my chair!
If you believed this mornings front pages, the beer duty escalator, the thing that raised beer duty 2% above inflation regardless, was for the chop. Unlike the headline above, we weren’t in-line for 6p duty reduction, scrapping the escalator would have just resulted in duty staying the same, i.e. no actual reduction.
“We will now scrap the beer duty escalator… And we’re taking a penny off a pint” #Budget2013
— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) March 20, 2013
Beer duty escalator scrapped. Duty on a pint cut by 1p. There's dancing and whooping in the CAMRA offices!
— Tom Stainer (@WBandBEER) March 20, 2013
So imagine my surprise when I got back from lunch to find that in addition to the beer duty escalator getting the chop, we’ve also got a 1p reduction in beer duty! I can’t remember the last time beer duty was reduced (Derick Heathcoat-Amory in 1959 evidently), remarkable. My twitter feed has understandable gone a bit bonkers. If I wasn’t off the beer this month, I’d have a pint to celebrate…
However, not for the first time, I’ll leave the final word to someone more eloquent than me…
That's the battle won, not the campaign. Let's get small cider producers off the escalator next & step up support for 5% VAT in hospitality
— Simon H Johnson (@simonhjohnson) March 20, 2013