David Forde, chairman of the British Beer & Pub Association, has said action is sorely needed to avoid an unsustainable tax burden on the sector.

Speaking at the trade body’s annual dinner this week, the Heienken UK chief executive said that despite uncertain economic times, huge investment in in the sector was creating new pubs, as well as major investment in the brewing industry.

However, he said recent trends worried him greatly and taxation was “a massive concern”. Reflecting the BBPA’s current campaign for a cut in Beer Duty in the November Budget, he made a plea for Government not to damage the industry with additional taxation, and to ensure the sector had access to the skills that its businesses need.

In return, he said the industry would continue to provide close to 900,000 jobs, supporting around 50,000 pubs – the third most popular tourism attraction in the UK.