In 2008, the British tax on beer was increased 18%. This increase resulted in pubs closing and as many as 20,000 people losing their jobs.

A record 2,000 British pubs have closed with the loss of 20,000 jobs since the chancellor, Alistair Darling, increased beer tax in the 2008 budget, new figures published by the British Beer and Pub Association reveal today.

The figures came alongside a separate forecast by Oxford Economics that 75,000 more jobs in the drinks industry are at risk. The finding is based on the impact of last year’s 18% increase in excise duty and the implications of the four-year drinks tax escalator.

This is exactly what I was talking about when I said that raising taxes on beer is bad for the economy. ThisĀ  data proves that when you increase the cost of beer, even under the guise of increasing funding for legitimate programs, the overall economy suffers. In fact, the opposite is true; decreasing impediments to legal consumption will actually increase tax revenue.

More and more states are looking at increasing beer and alcohol taxes as a way to increase revenue in a failing economy. Just today I read an article which suggested increasing the alcohol tax in Arkansas as a way to raise money for domestic abuse shelters. It is our responsibility as responsibile beer drinkers to let our representatives know that this is flawed logic. It worked in Idaho. It can work in your state, too, but only if you make yourself heard.