News

Price of pints to rise after U-turn on tax

Drinkers have been let down by the Chancellor's decision to increase beer and cider duty in today's Budget - which will see the price of their pints rise.

The announced two penny a pint increase in beer duty is the first rise in five years. It marks a U-turn by the Chancellor as he risks returning to the days of the much-hated Beer Duty Escalator which contributed to 75,000 job losses, 3,700 pub closures and a 24% fall in beer sales in pubs.

Colin Valentine, CAMRA's National Chairman says: "UK beer drinkers, pubs and brewers have been let down by the Chancellor's decision to increase beer duty for the first time in five years.

"The announced two penny a pint increase marks a return to the days when the much-hated Beer Duty Escalator contributed to 75,000 job losses, 3,700 pub closures and a 24% fall in beer sales in pubs. The rise in beer duty will ultimately hit consumers in their pockets and lead to pub closures across the country.

"The government's U-turn on beer duty is a real missed opportunity to support consumers. The UK still pays one of the highest rates of duty across Europe, only consuming around 12% of the beer yet paying nearly 40% of all beer duty in the EU. Further beer duty increases will lead to unsustainable price increases in pubs. The decision completely ignores the pressures that are being faced by the beer and pub sectors."

In the Wyre Forest CAMRA area 20 pubs have closed since 2010 These increases will put significant pressure on those that are still serving their communities.

Nick Yarwood, Chair of Wyre Forest CAMRA commented:

"The transitional support for pubs to off-set some of the rise in Business Rates is welcome, although it's only for one year. We know of local pubs that are facing increases of many times the £1000 discretionary help that is being offered by the Chancellor, through local authorities, but it may not be enough. We'll be watching to see that local authorities apply the full discretionally relief.

The increase in duty is an unwelcome and potentially counter-productive measure. With each pub that closes there is less local employment, less business activity, less tax paid, fewer NHI contributions made and less contribution to the Chancellor's coffers. It doesn't make sense for the Government to penalise pub businesses in this way and put their continued survival at risk.

The evidence since the scrapping of the Beer Duty Escalator in 2013 and subsequent reductions or freezes in beer duty is that pub closures were averted. This reversal is certainly not in the interests of the communities and individuals that many MPs represent."

AGM 2017 held at Severn Valley Hospitality Suite with Guest Speaker Tim Page, CAMRA Chief executive.

A very successfull meeting was held on Tuesday 7th of February. There was a good turnout, a charming venue, and of course good beer. We were fortunate to obtain the CAMRA chief executive as our Guest speaker and a full report is available here: AGM 2017

NEWS

The Roundhead, a once vibrant but recently down-cast 60’s estate pub on Marlpool, closed on 5 January. It’ll shortly be demolished to make way for housing.

The recently established Crafted Brewing Co are producing three beers in a unit at the top of Long Bank near Bewdley - The range is currently White Goose 3.8%, The Revolution 4% and Wyre Pale Ale 5%.

The Rising Sun, Bewdley, has been bought from Punch Taverns by NewRiver Retail and they’ve hiked up the rent making it uneconomic for the tenants of two years. This potentially puts at risk a popular community pub serving excellent beers.

News from Bewdley Brewery - the Brewery Tap is staying open all year on Fridays and Saturday afternoons plus Bank Holidays, 2-6pm. Great beers in great condition, and always a friendly welcome! The full range of bottled beers is always available whenever the brewery or bar is open.

COMING UP

Keep those beer scores rolling in! 3900 in the 12 months from 1 February 2016, and every one is valuable. The beer score year stared again on 1 February 2017.

Hope to see you at an event soon.