Monday, 24 November 2008

New blow for pubs and beer

Chancellor slaps six pence on the price of a pint

How many pubs does Alistair Darling and the Labour government want to see close?
Today's mini-budget is another body blow for the beleaguered pub trade, putting a further six pence on the price of a pint of beer, following the swingeing increase in the full budget earlier this year.
It's typical tactics by the exchequer -- give with one hand and take away with the other. The decrease in VAT meant some relief for pubs, but that has been wiped out by the increase in duty on alcohol. The rise in duty means that in many parts of the country a pint of beer will now cost more than £3. Already five pubs a day are closing and the number will now accelerate as publicans find it impossible to compete with supermarkets. People on low incomes, faced by rising prices and unemployment, will be driven in to the arms of the supermarkets as they peddle cheap alcohol.
The government says it wants to help small businesses but it always excludes the pub trade from its policies. Labour did help craft brewers through the introduction of Progressive Beer Duty, which means small brewers pay less duty than bigger producers. But the advantages of PBD have been wiped out in recent years by budget rises in duty and the ham-fisted manner in which the smoking ban was brought in: pubs with more than one bar should have been able to set aside a room for smokers. which is the case in mainland Europe.
It seems governments, whatever their stripe, do nothing to help pubs and brewers. The Conservatives caused mayhem in the 1990s with their Beer Orders that created the modern pub companies, with serious restrictions on choice for drinkers, and now Labour seems determined toi tax pubs out of existence.
We need a party that stands up for pubs and beer lovers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind paying the extra drink prices if I were allowed to go to a pub and smoke.
Nobody I know has been near a pub since the smoking ban if they are smokers. The non-smokers are not rushing into the pubs now that they are smoke free. So now the anti-smokers will have to pay more to keep the few pubs open that they have caused to close. This will not happen and the anti-smokers will have no pubs left to go to. A big price to pay for a lie that that there is harm in 'SHS'.

24 November 2008 at 20:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Support this conference and it may change things.

24 November 2008 at 22:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A chance to fight back.

24 November 2008 at 22:11  
Anonymous Sam Tana said...

I'm a non-smoker and I have been going to pubs more since the smoking ban. I can pay a visit after work and then head home without the wife being any the wiser, thanks to the lack of the telltale stench of foul smoke.

Case dismissed.

26 November 2008 at 12:40  
Blogger Zak said...

The main problem isn't that this will increase or decrease beer prices - as you say, Roger, it's giving with one hand and taking away with the other. The real problem is that when the VAT goes back to its original level, the duty is almost certain to stay at the elevated level to help the government recoup the lost tax from the previous year.

The real headache is the back-office administration required to achieve a net change of absolutely zero. It's a complete waste of time for both the on and off trade.

29 November 2008 at 16:30  
Blogger Steve Hill said...

Anyone who is upset by this further blow to the beer drinker needs to lobby their MP by visiting:

which can also be accessed through a link on the CAMRA website.

It's a shame that this government want to encourage more people to sit in the antisocial atmosphere of their home drinking when they could be out in their local enjoyed some beautifully kept cask conditioned ales.

As a young member of CAMRA I would like to be able to take my future children down the pub in 20+ years time for their first legal pint rather than showing them pictures in an history book.

1 December 2008 at 16:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rarely bother visiting pubs any more - and I used to visit them daily.

I'm a smoker. I'm not welcome in pubs. So I don't go.

11 December 2008 at 19:03  

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