SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has joined up with the British Beer & Pub Association, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) to send a ‘Message in a Barrel’ calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to cut beer duty in the upcoming Budget on March 16.
According to the campaign website www.beerandpubjobs.co.uk 970 people are employed in Derry in 86 pubs. If beer tax was to be increased by 2%, beer drinkers in the city would lose £50.9k over the next year and 2 jobs would be lost.
Mr Durkan has posted his message to George Osborne in a handcrafted barrel at Westminster alongside almost 50 other MPs who are adding their voice to the campaign.
Mr Durkan said: “I am delighted to support the campaign for cutting beer duty – which is the most direct, targeted way of protecting pubs in Derry and throughout the North.
“A cut to beer duty in the upcoming Budget would help local pubs maintain their important role at the heart of community life, and importantly safeguard jobs.
“I have also consistently called on George Osborne to follow the lead of the Irish government in introducing a targeted VAT cut to kick-start the tourism sector here.
“VAT reductions on accommodation, restaurant food and visitor attractions in Derry and throughout the North would not only result in significant increased tourist demand but help to generate employment in the sector for many years to come.”