Pub prices to rise again
another round of increases
It gets worse. Smoking ban, budget increases, unfair competition...and now the giant brewers are adding to the problems of pubs and beer drinkers with another swingeing round of increases.
Carlsberg has announced it will increase prices of its beers from March by 2.8%. Tha will means pub prices will rise by around 5 to 6 pence. But as many pubs -- managed ones in particular -- tend to round prices up, the increases could be as high as 10 pence.
The Carlsberg increase follows in the wake of a 7 pence a pint rise by InBev and 5.4% by both Guinness and Scottish & Newcastle. Last year Carlsberg twice increased its prices by a total of 5.4%. These are the same brewers who minimise prices rises or even absorb them completely when they are dealing with supermarkets yet seem determined to drive the pub sector even deeper into recession.
With imperfect timing, Carlsberg's increase in March will coincide with an automatic programmed rise in the budget as a result of Chancellor Alistair Darling's duty escalator, introduced in the 2008 budget. The escalator is linked to inflation and even though inflation has fallen it's though a budget rise of 2% would put 2-3 pence on the price of a pint.
This means that pubs and drinkers could face a total increase of 15 to 20 pence on the price of a pint in March. So stand back and watch even more pubs close.