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12-06-2012, 09:22
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The British Beer and Pub Association has published a timely little table about beer tax, which we all agree is too high in the UK. It topically shows the price per pint of beer tax in the countries competing in the European Championship and of course shows England at the top. There are the usual quotes about how the amount of beer tax is crippling pubs and the obviously appalling fact that although we drink 13% of the European Union's beer, we pay 40% of the total tax on beer.

Now the logical among us know that the Chancellor knows this too. He clearly reckons he can get away with it, which makes signing the petition about beer tax all the more important, but given that, quite possibly futile. He'll say the money has to come from somewhere I'd imagine. Returning to the table, there is some interesting stuff. It reads like this:

Euro 2012 Beer Tax league table

1England 55p
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Hpq0wD_ekaw/T9M2z1w0ulI/AAAAAAAADQw/VBQY0ht1_eA/s320/beerhappy.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Hpq0wD_ekaw/T9M2z1w0ulI/AAAAAAAADQw/VBQY0ht1_eA/s1600/beerhappy.jpg)2 Sweden 47p
3 Republic of Ireland 39p
4 Denmark 17p
5 Netherlands 16p
6 Greece 15p
7 Italy 14p
8 Russia 14p
9 Croatia 14p
10 Poland 12p
11 Portugal 9p
12 Czech Republic 8p
13 France 7p
14 Spain 5p
15 Germany 5p
16 Ukraine 4p

All the more remarkable is the fact that it is likely, nay certain, that the table would look quite different if it showed the average price per pint in the on trade - the pub - in each of the countries featured. I rather suspect that we'd come out of this a whole lot better, as anyone who has been daft enough to buy draught beer in France would agree. In terms of pub pricing, duty clearly isn't the only factor in play.*

We do we need to redress the balance between on and off trade, but it seems on the face of it that on average, we aren't getting such a very bad deal in pubs compared with our EU cousins. Clearly it could and should be better if duty had only risen in line with inflation. So we need a duty cut, or at least a duty freeze.

So sign the petition (http://saveyourpint.co.uk/) anyway and let's air this debate where it counts. In Parliament.

* You could use this site (http://www.pintprice.com/) to work out pint prices, but since no guidance is given as to how you should convert measures before submission, it is likely to be wildly inaccurate.https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/8629758183547510158-5852464349977978463?l=tandlemanbeerblog.blogspot.c om

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