Tax increases on beer will not deter people from binge drinking, and will only seek to threaten the British pub industry further.
According to a recent survey for the British Beer and Pub Association, a massive 82 per cent of the public believe the amount of binge drinkers will not fall if tax increases are introduced, with over three-quarters stating that they will threaten Britain’s traditional pubs.
The BBPA have said the hike in beer tax has caused ‘deep opposition’ to Chancellor Alastair Darling, and will only cause the public to vote against the current Government in the next election.
Rob Hayward, Chief Executive of the BBPA, said: “This polling calls time on the government’s stealth taxes on beer. By a large majority, the public is saying no. People clearly think the taxman has had enough. This polling must make the Chancellor think again about further tax rises on beer.”
In this year’s budget, Darling announced a beer duty rise of 13 per cent per pint, and stated plans to increase this by two per cent above inflation for the next four years. The move may not affect supermarkets that already impose cheap prices on bulk beer as much, but for traditional British pubs it could signal more closures.
CAMRA Chief Executive Mike Benner, 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.”
CAMRA’s Pub Watch Survey found that 57 pubs a month closed permanently last year, with 1567 closed with an uncertain future.