Pub industry leaders and MPs from the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group will today (4 March) cross-examine five senior Government ministers about the state of the ailing British pub sector.
The meeting comes as new figures reveal 2,000 pubs have closed since Chancellor Alistair Darling’s beer tax hike in the 2008 budget, with a forecast 75,000 further job losses if the Government continues with its plans to increase beer tax by two percent above the rate of inflation for the next four years.
The meeting, chaired by John Grogan, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, will see several industry leaders question ministers over possible Government measures to ensure the survival of the pub industry.
Speaking at the meeting are: Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame; Keith Bott, managing director of Titanic Brewery and president of the Society of Independent Brewers; Mike Benner, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale; Jeremy Phillips, barrister at law and co-editor of Paterson’s Licensing Acts; Kate Nicholls from the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers; John Longden, director of Pub is the Hub; and Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston’s.
They will cross-examine Home Office minister Alan Campbell, Treasury minister Angela Eagle, Communities and Local Government minister John Healey, Health minister Dawn Primarolo and Culture, Media and Sport minister Gerry Sutcliffe.