Friday, 4 April 2008

Thankyou Darling

Oh well another budget another nail in the coffin of the traditional British pub. We have just had an increase in beer prices due to increased costs of raw materials, now a 4p increase in the budget (but you can expect to pay upto 20p). CAMRA has described the increase as a "charter for smugglers and cheap supermarket booze". CAMRA launched a campaign to adopt policies to support pubs, practically the only place where you can buy quality local beers, which play little or no part in the current wave of disorder on the streets, but the government is clearly in no mood to listen. The chancellor has not recognised that community pubs are the solution to Britain's binge drinking problems. The budget will do nothing to stop binge drinking, but will lead to pub closures on a large scale (nationally there are around 57 pubs closed permanently a month). By imposing such a large increase on the already unfair and punitive levels of tax on beer, the chancellor is driving more people out of the controlled environment of pubs and into off-licences and supermarkets. This tax increase is punishing all beer drinkers rather than the minority of drunken hooligans. This increase is fuelling Britian's binge drink problem by driving people away from beer, out of the pubs and into the supermarkets who will sell premium strength lager as a loss leader at around 22p a can, which is cheaper than bottled water. Supermarkets don't pay beer duty and they won't allow brewers to pass it on, so their rock bottom prices will remain unaffected by this tax.

Andy Brown (Chairman, East Dorset CAMRA)

1 comment:

Paul Garrard said...

I do think Labour are being unduly harsh on what is probably a large chunk of it's natural supporters - real ale drinkers.