Treasury sticking to its duty


South East Cornwall MP Colin Breed has criticised the Government’s response to his request to consider introducing differing alcohol duty levels for draught and non-draught products.

The reply from HM Treasury suggests the reason 52 pubs are closing each week has little to do with the “pressures that pubs face during the current economic downturn…increasing costs and the impact of the smoking ban legislation”, but are “the result of many factors including shifting tastes and increased choice in leisure pursuits including home entertainment and coffee shops.”.

Reacting to this comment, Breed said: “While tastes have changed, they have not changed radically enough to close 52 pubs each week. The letter mentions that people are ‘reducing household expenditure as a result of the economic downturn’ – this is the precise point my letter intended to address. Differing draught beer tax levels would reduce prices and make the pub more attractive than supermarket offers.”


  1. Isn’t it strange how our tastes suddenly changed in 2007. In 2005 102 pubs closed. In 2006 216 closed. Then in 2007 (year of the smoking ban) 1409.

  2. Oh dear, it seems that MP Colin Breed received the exact same reply that I get from this government.

    In response to the government I say – I have not chosen to shift my taste away from pubs, but have been forced to due to the smoking ban.

    I had never purchased alchohol from a supermarket before on a regular basis, but the smoking ban forced me to. The smoking ban also forced me to partake in home entertaining.

    I’d return to my local tomorrow and pay over the odds for my drinks (as I always used to), as long as I was treated like a human being and could socialise in comfort.

    To be honest, I’m surprised that Colin Breed MP is speaking out now. He was absent for 2 of the smoking ban votes and agreed to one of them. He didn’t realise the importance then of his actions, but apparantly now does. It’s a bit too late as your damage and that of your colleagues is now being inflicted upon our country.

    Perhaps he now understands how disgusting our government was to force our sick, infirm, elderly and terminally ill out into these current freezing temperatures to pursue their legal (and highly-taxed) life-style choice, when their were numerous alternatives available to cater for everyone. Surely this is against all doctors orders?

    I just hope that he isn’t complaining about smokers in doorways and cigarette butts all over the streets as a result of this appalling legislation that he didn’t care too much about at the time. Choice was all that was needed. Shame on you Colin Breed for being part of those that allowed this to happen.

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