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British drinkers are being squeezed dry by the taxman — and we pay 14 times more tax on our beer than the Germans

Pint of no return

BRITISH drinkers are being squeezed dry by the taxman.

The news we’re paying 14 times as much in beer tax as the Germans leaves us needing a pint.

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Brits pay 14 times more tax on beer than Germans[/caption]

With so much of the cost of a beer going straight to the Treasury, it’s hardly a surprise that so many of our pubs are closing.

They can’t compete with supermarkets, which don’t have to pay the same rate.

The result is empty high streets, community hubs shuttered and a bunch of unemployed bar staff.

With the Budget coming up, Philip Hammond cannot seriously be considering punishing hard-working people even more for enjoying a pint at clocking-off time.

Rex Features

Landlords and drinkers are hoping the Chancellor doesn’t raise the tax in the budget[/caption]

 

Another hike will leave landlords and punters alike calling last orders for the Chancellor.

Tax and mend

IF “Spreadsheet Phil” is after a couple of quid, though, he should look at foreign property buyers.

Two years ago the Government “cracked down” on tax avoidance by foreign homeowners.

Getty Images – Getty

Critics complain that Philip Hammond’s tax system is too complicated[/caption]

But the Treasury left a giant loophole in the legislation, which has millionaires laughing all the way to the bank.

The real problem is how complicated our tax system has become.

The code is more than 15,000 pages long. It’s hardly a surprise well-paid accountants can find ways for their deep-pocketed clients to cut their bills.

Chancellors always talk a good game when it comes to simplifying the system yet can never resist tinkering – with unintended consequences.

Mr Hammond should close these loopholes. It can’t be one set of rules for the rich and another for the rest of us.

And getting tech multinationals to cough up would help, too.

Tell hymn off

ONWARD, the political correctness brigade!

Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “Onward, Christian soldiers”, does it?

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Should hymns be changed to keep up with the times?[/caption]

You do have to wonder what was going through the mind of the vicar who has banned the traditional hymn from a Remembrance Sunday service.

Was he worried his marchers might feel inspired, take up arms and launch a 21st century crusade?

With the greatest of respect we’re not sure most of the marchers are in quite the fighting shape they once were.

The hymn has been part of Oadby’s Remembrance services since 1967 and there hasn’t been a single complaint to the local Legion about it.

Even the Salvation Army – not exactly vicious hate preachers – have adopted it as their favourite tune.

Forget more tea, Vicar.

Just try a bit of common sense.

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