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E-Malt.com News article: UK: Molson Coors joins calls to cut beer duty
Brewery news

Calls to cut beer duty in the UK for a fourth time in a row have been backed by a major UK brewer, Burton Mail reported on March 2.

Bosses at Molson Coors have called on Chancellor George Osborne to slash the beer duty in the budget later this month.

Frederic Landtmeters, managing director UK and Ireland at Molson Coors, told the Mail that he wanted to see another cut take place.

He said: "The beer and pub industry plays a vital role in the UK economy, contributing 22 billion to the UK and supporting almost 900,000 jobs.

"Three successive beer duty cuts have provided our industry with a much-needed boost and we would urge the Government to continue supporting this important UK industry by further reducing beer duty.

"People can show their support for a pint by writing to their local MP and asking them to back beer duty cuts."

The potential cut has the backing of more than 50 MPs who have all signed a motion led by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) to cut the duty once again.

Currently, drinkers in Britain pay 52p in duty per pint in comparison to those in Germany where the duty is only 4p a pint.

Nearly 50 MPs showed their support with a 'message in a barrel' which was delivered to the door of the Chancellor last week.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: "I am delighted that so many MPs have shown their support for cutting beer duty.

"Still in pubs, two thirds of all alcoholic drink sold is beer.

"Beer in pubs is now 20p cheaper than it would have been had the escalator remained in place.

"Strong support from MPs always gives a real boost to our campaign we have built a very strong case for further duty cuts to boost employment and protect pubs, as the industry still faces big cost pressures, particularly in the next year."

It is hoped that a cut in duty will encourage prosperity in the industry and help create more jobs.

Mr Landtmeters visited Burton in June last year and revealed to the Mail his ambitions for the company in the town.

He announced that Molson Coors was 'here to stay' following a 75 million, five-year investment.

At the time he said: "Burton is where it all started for us. There are lots of stories that stem from this town in terms of beers which are currently being sold across the globe and, for us, this is why we are still here.

"There is no reason why the future of Molson Coors would not be in Burton. We are investing in our facilities here, in our breweries and our people and there is absolutely no reason to believe that would change.

"It is an active decision to invest.

"It is a huge investment the single biggest investment in the industry in a decade. That is a commitment.

"How important is Burton? That is how important. No-one has done such an investment in their brewing facilities but we have chosen to do it and that is how strong our commitment is."

A recent poll released by YouGov showed that 72 per cent of people asked, supported a call for a slash on beer duty.

The Society of Independent Brewers, based in Burton, which represents more than 800 brewers, encouraged the Chancellor to go ahead with cuts and give the independent craft brewing industry 'further support to reach its potential' and create more jobs in the area.

The poll found that three in four people supported a cut while only 18 per cent backed a rise in beer duty.

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths has also backed the calls for a cut.

The budget is due to be announced by George Osborne on Wednesday, March 16.

02 March, 2016

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