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Duty of 10p per pint will "cripple" some pubs, says landlord
A YORK landlord has accused the Government of glossing over increases in alcohol duty, which could cripple some pubs, in the Budget.
Steve Bradley, landlord of the Fulford Arms, said that the announcement of “no change” to alcohol duty was misleading because the alcohol duty escalator, which increases duty on alcohol by inflation plus 2 per cent, meant duty was effectively to rise by 5.4 per cent.
He said: “I expect it to put 10p on a pint, but we won’t know exactly until we get the prices put down to us from the pubco. Some of the pubcos might decide not to pass it on to the customer.
“His way of making it sound like there was no change to alcohol duty means that it’s the same carry on. Every year alcohol duty will rise by inflation plus 2 per cent. It just carries on and on.”
He said that on top of the rise, no measures were taken to stop supermarkets selling alcohol cheaply.
“Any increase in price may well stop people coming out to drink. It could cripple some pubs. We’re running on tight margins as it is.”
CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, said the decision not to scrap the fuel escalator will cause further job losses in the sector.
It said that about £1 on every pint goes to the Treasury in beer duty and VAT and it launched a petition against the duty, which it described as “punitive” on a sector which supports almost a million jobs and contributes £21 billion to the UK economy.
Mike Benner, chief executive of CAMRA, said: “The fact Britons are forced to pay over 40 per cent of the EU beer tax bill, but consume only 13 per cent of the beer sold in Europe, is remarkable. British beer in a pub is so heavily hit with duty and VAT, the tax man’s whirlwind hikes translate to him guzzling a third of every pint served, a shadow cast over the beer drinker depriving people of an affordable night down their local.”