St Austell Brewery MD, James Staughton, has slammed the 2% rise in alcohol duty announced in today’s Budget, which will put 5p on the average pint of beer.
Staughton said: “Today’s Budget is unquestionably bad news for our industry and a huge disappointment.
“Pubs play a vital role in the economy and in local communities. The Chancellor’s unfair and unjustified announcement today will only add to the already considerable pressures faced by publicans and the licensed trade in the south west.
“In imposing these additional taxes, the Government has willfully ignored the views of the public, landlords, consumer groups, industry representatives and MPs from all parties who have been calling for action to save the British pub.
“At a time when the rest of the economy is getting a supporting hand, the beer and pub industry is being singled out for punitive action. Last year the Chancellor raised beer tax by an eye-watering 18%. Today’s rise is a further body blow. The result will be more pubs closing, more jobs being lost and more people consuming alcohol outside supervised, licensed premises.
“As part of the British Beer and Pub Association, our campaign with CAMRA to save pubs as a vital part of British life now becomes a matter of the highest priority. It has widespread public support, cross-party political support plus the support of trade unions such as Unite. The only person who doesn’t seem to be listening is the Chancellor.”