22th April 2009
Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement in today’s Budget that alcohol duty would be increased by 2% today Fair Pint has pointed out that a duty freeze or a reduction was unlikely to have made any difference to pubs, without an explicit promise that brewers and ‘pubcos’ would pass it on my reducing the prices at which they sell to publicans. Fair Pint has called for the debate about the future of pubs to now turn to the structure of the industry and how the tie and the operation of rent reviews is forcing publicans out of business.
Steve Corbett a tied landlord in South East London and a member of the Fair Pint Steering Group said:
"Beer duty is paid by producers not by retailers ,without guarantees that any reduction in duty would be passed on to publicans and their consumers reductions in duty would make no difference to the cost of beer in pubs or help struggling publicans in keeping their businesses going.
"The BBPA is the body which represents brewers and property owners. Their failed Axe the Tax campaign was a clear attempt to serve their interests by diverting attention away from the way that the tie and rent reviews operate are forcing many publicans out of business.
"Fair Pint has show that the tied landlords are paying up to 80p a pint more for their beer, and recent research published by the GMB union has shown that that the ‘pubcos’ tied estates had huge instances of ‘church ‘ when pubs change hands because tenants have either gone bankrupt or have given up their pub.
"It is time for the debate to shift to how the removal of the tie and reform of rent reviews, would secure the long term future of British pubs."
Notes for editors
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