Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Exceeding expectations

Well, the relatively small number of people who responded to my poll weren’t very optimistic about the prospects for any further duty concessions in the Budget, but they were proved completely wrong.

George Osborne surprised everyone with what was probably the budget in living memory most favourable to producers, retailers and consumers of alcoholic drinks. The duty escalator was scrapped for all drinks categories (as I urged in this month’s Opening Times column), but he went further than this by cutting the main rate of beer duty by a further penny a pint, and by freezing duty on spirits and “standard” cider, both of which are substantial British industries.

So I’ll certainly be raising a glass to that tonight!

Just wait for the chorus of whining and predictions of doom from the anti-drink lobby.


  1. Actually it's not just the main rate of beer duty that's been cut. The reduction is 6% for beers up to 2.8%, 2% for "standard beers" and 0.75% for "strong" beers over 7.5%. It's supposed to mean a 1p a pint reduction across the board.

  2. To be picky, the HSBD "surtax" has actually increased by 3.9% but, as you say, the overall tax burden still falls.

    I was somewhat gobsmacked by this news as it exceeded anyone's reasonable expectations.

    You could say it's calculated to appeal to UKIP defectors - i.e. pensioners who like a drink ;-)

  3. And you wonder why so many beards would put Balls in, instead of stick with Gideon. eh?

    Allowances up, means more spending money in punters hands.

    Thank god Balls isn't in charge, to fuck it all up.

  4. If any fellow human believes a 1penny reduction on a pint will
    get the missing millions back into pubs then they must have been possesed by some dark CAMRA ritual or embraced in a BEELZEBUB
    PISS UP.

    Just passing through.

  5. Lord Egbert Nobacon22 March 2014 at 08:25

    And sod annuities.
    Changes to pensions mean we can all piss away what is rightfully ours rather than giving it to poxy insurance companies.
    This Bullingdon Club chaps are rather clever fellows after all.
    I say,what ?
    Pip pip !


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