Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Heads we win, tails you lose

Some sections of the media – although fewer than last year – were misled by the statement in the Budget that there would be no change to already announced plans for alcohol duties, and wrongly claimed that duties were being “frozen”. In fact, of course, they’re going up by an eye-watering 5%, which means that a pint of 4% beer will bear duty plus VAT on duty of 53p.

There had been fears that further nasties might be lurking in the Budget, such as an increase in High Strength Beer Duty, or higher cider duties, but in the event nothing materialised. However, it must be likely that further punitive increases will emerge from the government’s Alcohol Strategy review.

One little wrinkle that has been sneaked through is that duties are being increased each year by the RPI (plus the 2% “escalator”), while pensions and benefits are only uprated by the generally lower CPI figure. The result of this is that duties will steadily outpace the incomes of poorer people. It seems that the government choose whichever figure they get the best deal from.

Anyway, look forward to more closed pubs, more struggling breweries and more happy alcohol smugglers in the coming year. Will this also sound the death knell for Morrisons’ 4 for £5.50 deal?


  1. on the nose again Curmudgeon ...

  2. When a pint was a quid, the tax tax was around 30p
    Now its 3 quid, the tax take is around a quid.

    An indication that tax was too high would be an increase in the proportion that goes in tax, which doesn't happen because rip off pubs ratchet up their prices alongside the tax to maintain GP

    Sorry sops seem to think it's acceptable despite the most successful pub group in the land not following that GP model

  3. From my latest visit to Morrisons, it seems that the 4 for £5.50 offer has now bitten the dust. It remains to be seen what replaces it. Anyway, once the government ban multi-buy promotions, it will be toast anyway.

  4. No, I was wrong - 4 for £5.50 is still there, although for some reason the bottled ciders have now been excluded from it. I'm quite partial to the occasional bottle of cider, so would often put one in my trolley along with three ales.

  5. Further news from Morrisons - the general run of PBAs are now priced at £1.89 each, or 4 for £6. If I have a CAMRA voucher, it's now cheaper to drink in Spoons.


Comments, especially on older posts, may require prior approval by the blog owner. See here for details of my comment policy.

Please register an account to comment. To combat persistent trolling, unregistered comments are liable to be deleted unless I recognise the author. If you intend to make more than the occasional comment using an unregistered ID, you will need to tell me something about yourself.