Slashing beer tax could create up to 30,000 jobs, according to trade body the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
In its submission to the Government's review of alcohol taxation, the pub trade body claims the current tax system is discouraging the consumption of low-strength drinks such as beer - with lower tax revenues and fewer jobs the result.
The current UK tax regime penalises beer, which is both low-strength and overwhelmingly UK-produced, compared with the likes of spirits and wine. The result, says the BBPA, is that alcohol in the form of beer costs 42p per unit on average compared with 37p for vodka, 38p for gin and 33p for cider.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: "The new Government now has a great opportunity to bring fairness into our duty system - with huge potential benefits for the Treasury and the UK economy.
"A fair deal for beer would create a win-win situation for all. Beer is unique among the main categories of drink, with Britain's pubs dependent on beer sales. Over 90% of the beer consumed here is brewed here."
By Chris Druce
E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs