Pub sector pleads to be spared (for once) from the Chancellor’s attention in the Budget


The price of beer could rise to GBP6 a pint in some pubs if the Chancellor of the Exchequer raises duty on beer in his forthcoming Budget.

It’s enough to drive you to drink … if you can afford it.

Publicans are already bumping up prices as a result of higher wage costs and raw material costs but if, as Chancellors usually do, Rishi Sunak raises the duty on beer then the GBP6 pint becomes a possibility, and not just for flowery, citrusy “craft” ales in achingly trendy pubs or “premium” foreign lagers in nightclubs in London.

Meanwhile, UK finance ministers continue to avoid increasing fuel duty like Superman avoids kryptonite.

Drinks wholesalers such as Matthew Clark and Bibendum are set to increase prices by between 3.5% and 5% next month, citing pressures on the global supply chain.

That’s likely to hit attendance in a sector that is already struggling to recover from the pandemic.

Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic in the UK, close to 10,000 licensed premises have shut, according to market research group CFA. Between July and September alone – after the so-called “freedom day”, 16 boozers, bars and nightclubs were closing each day.


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