With prices going through the roof, many people have been forcedto drink at home. Chancellor George Osborne has been recently urgedto abandon the so-called ‘beer escalator’.A pint has already become unaffordable to a number of workingpeople. While the average pint of beer in Britain costs £3.22, inSpain, for instance, it comes in at £1.70.“British drinkers are paying around 10 times as much as drinkersin Germany, so we think it would just be right to hold down theburden, not increase the tax yet again and keep down the cost forordinary consumers,” Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of theTaxpayers Alliance, told RT.According to a report by the British Beer and Pub Association,freezing beer duty could save up to 10,000 jobs by 2014-15. On topof this, campaigners promise the measure could help increase theoverall tax take by 5million pounds a year.Campaigners claim that taxing alcohol further will neither cutbinge, nor underage drinking, but could have real benefitsinstead.“A duty freeze would raise revenues, protect thousands of jobs,allow us to create yet more jobs and help one of our greatestnational assets — our network of much-loved British pubs,” theBritish Beer and Pub Association’s Brigid Simmonds has been quotedas saying.The pub was once the hub of the British community. These daysmore and more pubs go out of business, with rises in beer duty andthe smoking ban among the main reasons behind it.In fact, many say, ‘drinking’ is the new ‘smoking’, and thegovernment is simply looking for ways to compensate tax revenuelost from smokers.“Every time the price goes up because of duty or for whateverother reason, it makes it that bit harder really,”Julian Ross, chairman of Old Crown Co-operative said.“You can see for yourself what this is like – it’s a community,it brings people together. It’s like the difference between socialnetworking and meeting someone face to face there is no substitutefor this kind of conviviality,” he told RT.For more on the shifting shape of British politics, watch SaraFirth’s report.
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