5% and very bitter

"I have no further changes to make to the duty rates set out by my predecessor".

And with those words the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, managed to avoid announcing that alcohol duty would actually rise by 2% plus inflation.

Those rates were first set by Alistair Darling in the Labour government in 2008 and then extended by him in 2010 to run until 2015. The Coalition seem loathe to hit the escalator's emergency stop, though. Indeed, why should they? If figures show that, since 2008, beer consumption has fallen but beer duty revenue has increased, why lose a revenue stream?

Today there will be many calls to scrap the beer duty escalator. Many such calls have been made before. All the way back to 2008.

An e-petition campaigning for the removal of the beer duty escalator has gathered momentum through the day.

You may wish to sign it.

If you do, please do this as well:

Think of three things you could do to actively campaign against the escalator.

Do those things. Or at least get the wheels in motion.

Then sign the petition.

Don't be an armchair warrior. An angry blogger with a spittle-flecked screen.

Don't rely on another 83,000 people signing a petition that may or may not spark a debate that may or may not turn out the way you want it to (hint: the Coalition kept the tax that Labour introduced. Do the maths).

Do something.

A number of people have told me that signing the e-petiton is better than doing nothing.

What's best is doing something.


  1. But what is that something?

  2. Well put. There does seem a lot of apathy towards this though, which is surprising.

  3. I am not going to naysay or give you a hard time but here in Canada in the mid-90's we ate a lot of taxation and cut services because we were fiscally screwed. We still have 50% tax built into beer but have the lowest debt ratio in the G8. I am as left as they come but when times demand it is necessary to pay the piper. Over here, the first province to balance the budget was socialist and the Federal government that did it was the Liberals. Maybe they should issue UK beer bonds. Beer for victory.