An “unfair beer tax” has been criticised by MPs who warned it was costing jobs across the Midlands.

Andrew Griffiths, Conservative MP for the big brewing town of Burton-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, led calls for the government to scrap a “beer escalator” which means the tax on a pint goes up by two per cent above inflation each year.

He was set to lead a Commons debate demanding reform, after more than 100,000 people signed an online petition supporting a campaign backed by breweries and the Campaign for Real Ale.

Mr Griffiths, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, said the tax discriminated against beer drinkers and led to job losses in pubs and breweries. He was due to lead a debate on November 1 to call for the escalator to be scrapped.

He told The Birmingham Post: “Even though duty is due to go up again next year, Treasury projections show it won’t generate more revenue because beer sales will decline as a result.

“The escalator is having a massive impact on Britain’s pubs and brewing industry.

“If we recognise the value of the community pub in Britain, the Treasury needs to do more to support it and scrap the tax, which is closing pubs and costing jobs.”

He was due to propose a motion calling on the Treasury to carry out a review of the tax before the next Budget, due next March or April.