Chancellor George Osborne toasts his budget at Banks’s Brewery in Wolverhampton

Chancellor George Osborne raises a glass at Banks’s Brewery this afternoon in the wake of his Budget move to cut 1p off the duty on a pint of beer.

osborne

He arrived at the Chapel Ash headquarters this afternoon where he met with brewery bosses and Wolverhampton South West MP Paul Uppal.

The move has been widely welcomed by the brewing and pub-owning industry, facing tough competition from cheaper prices in supermarkets.

His visit to Banks’s brewer Marston’s comes as the company, which employs around 1,000 people at its brewery and headquarters, invests in opening dozens of new pub-restaurants every year, creating hundreds of jobs nationwide.

Mr Osborne’s decision to cut beer duty has been warmly greeted by Richard Westwood, managing director of the group’s brewing arm, Marston’s Beer Company.

He said: “This news is more than we had expected. It safeguards hundreds of jobs across the industry and allows for future planning and investing back into our business with a better level of certainty.

“It will undoubtedly stimulate growth across the sector for the second year running. Its great news for companies like Marston’s which create a lot of new jobs every year.”

George Osborne regional visit to the Midlands
Chancellor George Osborne with a pint of Sunbeam ale alongside Conservative MP for Wolverhampton south west Paul Uppal (left) during a visit to Marston's Brewery in Wolverhampton.

Mr Osborne’s move to knock 1p of beer and scrap the so-called ‘duty escalator’, which has hiked duty year after year, comes after heavy lobbying from the brewing industry that has seen tax on beer rise by 40 per cent since 2008. About a third of the price of pint now goes in tax.

After the visit, Mr Osborne tweeted about his time in the city.

His future tax plans for the brewing industry were likely to be the main topic of conversation during Mr Osborne’s meeting with Marston’s bosses during today’s visit, during which he was also shown around the Wolverhampton site’s kegging facility, where the barrels are filled with beer before delivery to pubs across the UK.

Meanwhile, the Chancellor arrives in the city as it braces itself for 2,000 job cuts among the local authority’s workforce. The council has blamed cuts to its budget imposed by the Government for the axing of jobs and services across the city.

Earlier, Mr Osborne was in the East Midlands where he visited Boal Aluminium UK. His visit came as it was revealed that the change in how VAT is taxed could mean the end of the 99p music download from digital stores like iTunes and Google Play.

He has put in place legislation, coming into effect next year, that would require online retailers such as Apple and Amazon to put VAT on downloads based on a customer’s location.

Comments for: "Chancellor George Osborne toasts his budget at Banks’s Brewery in Wolverhampton"

Berbizier

Tut tut Gideon. Shouldn't be taking a sip before it's settled!

JM

Osborne and Uppal I dont know how you have the nerve , Christ how arrogant are these people ? Along with the useless Labour Council they have brought this once fantastic town to its knees , These politicians are a breed that display no limit to their arrogance and ignorance for what they have done to our communities

Just look at their smug faces , I rest my case

Jobs decimated but they knock a penny of a pint of beer , the modern day equivalent of "let them eat cake"

Crell

Why on earth do you think he's done this? Isn't it blatantly obvious it's a publicity stunt? It's also blatantly obvious to many people - for several years - that this coalition does NOT live in the real world. Knocking 1p off duty is nothing more than showboating. The REAL costs have risen astronomically. Don't treat the electorate with such contempt, including the 1/3 of our children in Sandwell who know live in poverty. Do you seriously think they're going to be singing from the roof-tops over this news? Buying his own and serving his own - at our expense, then getting fat off the tax he's raising from everyone other than his own kind. How true to form, Osborne. What a great "crowd" you draw in your great little bubble. Totally cut-off from reality. You don't need to be drunk be in your state.

Chr1s23

Well,Well. Would you believe it? Osbourne who usually takes the p*** is now drinking it!