HMRC beer seizures double

The amount of beer confiscated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has more than doubled over the last three years.

Beer shelvesBeer seized by HMRC and the Border Force due to excise duty not being paid has risen by 127% since 2009/10 from 4,128,660 litres to 9,369,728 litres in 2012/13.

Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, partly blamed the increase on the rising price of beer in pubs.

Mulholland said: “I do think it is all linked and certainly we have seen the price of a pint in the pub get more expensive.

“That pushes people to drinking cheaper alcohol at home but also there is the danger of people seeking to engage in criminal importation of alcohol.

“It is clearly a concern and means revenue lost to the Treasury.”

Economic secretary Sajid Javid revealed the figures in an answer to a parliamentary question tabled by shadow economic secretary Cathy Jamieson.

“These figures show how important it is to have adequate enforcement to ensure that all appropriate duty is paid,” Ms Jamieson said.

“These efforts must continue and the Government should commit to making available a sufficient number of staff to keep up the pressure.”

The amount of beer seized in 2012/13 equates to around 18.7 million 500ml cans of beer.

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