Rugby MP says he supports beer duty review after CAMRA criticism

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MEMBERS of the Rugby branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have criticised the town’s MP over a debate about beer prices.

In last week’s Advertiser it was reported that MP Mark Pawsey had spoken in a House of Commons debate calling on the Government to stop the rising price of beer across the country.

Steve Heighton, speaking of behalf of Rugby CAMRA, said: “As part of CAMRA’s attempts to get this bill on beer duty reversed we wrote to Mr Pawsey to ask for his support to the petition which would then force parliament to discuss it. In a reply he stated he would not support any attempts to block the rise in beer duty, which is to be two per cent over the rate of inflation over the next two years. Mr Pawsey has put in a spectacular a u-turn. The proof of his commitment will be how he actually votes on the issue when it comes up.”

Mr Pawsey said he has always supported the ‘vital’ role pubs play in community life and job creation.

He said: “The debate I spoke in passed a motion, which I supported, calling on government to ‘conduct a thorough review of the economic and social impact of the beer duty escalator to report back before the 2013 Budget’. Accordingly the Government may determine that the beer duty escalator, imposed by the Labour Government, should be cancelled. In this instance a vote in parliament would not be necessarily take place. What I did speak up for was local brewers such as Wood Farm Brewery and Atomic Brewery in my constituency, which are part of the increase from 394 in 2002 to 730 today in small breweries, which provide great diversity and variety of products.”