CAMRA slams inflation-busting beer duty increase.
12th March 2008
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has hit out at the Chancellor's
decision to increase beer duty by 4 pence a pint in today's Budget,
together with annual increases of 2% above inflation for the next
four years. CAMRA HQ claims that the increase will lead to at least
20 pence on a pint over the bar, fuelling pub closures and increasing
unregulated drinking as more choose to drink at home or on the streets.
This is the first time ever that beer tax has increased by 4 pence
- a rise of 13%!
CAMRA recently announced that 57 pubs are lost permanently every
month as the price differential between pubs and supermarkets widens.
Pubs provide a regulated environment for people to enjoy alcohol
socially and responsibly.
Mike Benner, Chief Executive of CAMRA said, "The Chancellor
has failed to recognise that well-run community pubs are the solution
to Britain's binge drinking problems. This budget will do nothing
to stop binge drinking, but it will lead to pub closures on a huge
scale, widen the gap between supermarket and pub prices and encourage
smuggling and cross-border shopping. It's a great big nail whacked
ruthlessly into the coffin of the British pub."
He added, "The budget shows a disregard for our national drink
and for the 15 million people who enjoy it responsibly."
CAMRA called for a cut in beer duty in the Budget to help pubs
compete with supermarket prices. CAMRA believes that supermarket
prices of beer are unlikely to be affected significantly by the
tax increase, but pubs as small businesses, will have no choice
but to increase prices at the bar.
Latest survey on pubs prices released today
The latest survey of pub prices across Britain is also released
by CAMRA today. It shows that real ale prices across the UK have
increased by 4.6% in the last year and the average price of a pint
now sits at £2.45. CAMRA claims that average post-budget pub
prices will now hit at least £2.65 for real ale and £2.85
Source: National CAMRA