§ Mr. Fatchett
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the operation of the new rules governing the calculation of excise duty on beer.
§ Sir John Cope
The first indications from official and trade sources are that the new beer duty system, which was introduced on 1 June, is working well. Customs is continuing to liaise closely with the trade to ensure that the new arrangements are implemented as smoothly as possible. At a late stage, the Brewers Society has claimed that the new rate is not likely to prove fiscally neutral and Customs is studying its submissions. In the meanwhile, we have no reason to alter the estimate that the change involves a shortfall of duty to the Exchequer, for 1993–94 only, of about £200 million.16W