#7point5 – The Office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s response

I received a reply from my MP today in reference to the letter I wrote expressing “concern” over the changes in alcohol duty for higher strength beer. My original post is here but there were plenty more folks writing similar stuff at the time and since.

Sadly the House of Commons staff had made an error when enclosing the full response from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Chloe Smith (which is to follow), instead sending me someone else’s reply referring to gift aid.. a good start..

I do have the summary from my MP’s letter for now, which is detailed below and I’m assuming covers what it says anyway albeit in brief:

“According to the Minister, health and homelessness groups have indicated that “super strength” lagers play a significant role in the consumption habits of heavy drinkers and that the changes to duty on beer will therefore encourage consumption of lower strength beers.

In regards to your point about specialist Belgian-type beers, the Minister states that as such beers are often served in small volumes, the increase in price will be comparatively small. The Minister also states that the government are to ban supermarkets selling below cost alcohol. ” 

So basically then, alcoholics, tramps and homeless folks are meant to stop drinking their normal Tennants Super, Special Brew etc and switch to lower strength cheaper versions to become healthy, responsible UK citizens.

Then in another display of pure genius, the government is going to pass legislation to stop supermarkets from selling the low-cost cheaper versions these groups are meant to gravitate to.. “Hmmm clever thinking”

For the rest of us who like a drink of something a little special from time to time above the 7.5% threshold, it doesn’t really matter because we don’t drink that much of it anyway.. So basically the message to you is “live with it…”

No mention of the knock on effect to brewers, publicans, specialist beer retailers and importers etc so far, so you’re either insignificant or if you’re lucky detailed in the mystery letter…


Please sign the petition in support of #7POINT5 which unfairly targets high strength beers:

Please sign the Government petition against unfair taxation on beers over 7.5% ABV, click HERE

#7point5, what’s that all about?

7 thoughts on “#7point5 – The Office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s response

  1. So really you’re original letter could have said:

    ‘Dear [MP] can you please send me a letter regurgitating the party line which I’m perfectly capable of reading for myself?’

    Fair play for having a go though!

  2. its a load of tosh really, this country is going to continually bring in more taxes that will inevitably be fittered away on military campaigns, paying for Chavs to live without working, and paying to keep foreign criminals and generally too many migrants.

    • Exactly mate, it’s an easy target that can be excused under health and welfare grounds but makes no reference to cheap vodka, cider etc etc. It’s a ridiculous rationale to use to justify extortionate taxation…

  3. Ooh! I know. They should instead impose a tax on brown paper bags transferred in connection with a retail sale of beer and of a suitable size for surreptitiously consuming such beer in public. 🙂 (Or maybe the brown paper bag is a U.S. hobo phenomenon).

    • Oh yeah my friend, the brown paper bag brigade are also an all too common sight in UK parks and rundown areas, sometimes they don’t even bother with the bag! 😉

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