Price of a pint: The war against beer tax

Pub-goers could enjoy significantly cheaper pints if a group of MPs manage to force a U-turn on beer tax later this week.

The cross-party group want the government to scrap 2008's beer duty escalator, which has seen tax on beer go up over 40% in the last four years.

"Every time someone drinks cider instead of bitter the Treasury lose 50p," Tory MP Andrew Griffiths told

"Is it any wonder the cider industry is benefiting because it's able to spend that money marketing its product?

"The Treasury's own figures reveal that even with the escalator it'll raise no extra revenue over the next two years, because it's hitting beer sales and encouraging people to drink other things."

Labour's decision to introduce the beer duty escalator saw duty on the drink rise by two per cent above inflation every year. As a result, Brits now spend over a third of their pint on tax.

The parliamentary motion, set to be debated on Thursday, comes after an e-petition demanding the scrapping of the escalator was signed by over 100,000 people.

A Treasury spokesperson said: "The revenues from alcohol duty make an important contribution to tackling Britain's debt crisis.

"Budget 2012's duty increase and increases to 2014-2015 form part of our credible plan to reduce Britain's debt, which is required to ensure low interest rates and a stable platform for growth."