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.”