The Chancellor’s hike in beer duty went through the Commons last night despite votes from Black Country MPs to block it.

Warley MP John Spellar said: “British beer drinkers pay the highest rate of tax in Europe. Cutting back on that has helped to revive the industry which plays out a part in community life. It’s not only the brewers, but also pubs and clubs which are affected.

Given the Brexit uncertainties, I wasn’t looking for a reduction this time, but a freeze would have been the right thing to do. Unfortunately the Chancellor of the Exchequer ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ as he is known to his Tory colleagues has set this progress back.”

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