Most people believe cost of a pint ‘unaffordable’ – what do you think?
PUBLISHED: 14:50 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:58 06 August 2018
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The price of a pint is becoming unaffordable as pubs are weighed down by tax burdens, a lobby group has warned.
A survey of more than 2,000 adults by the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) found that only one in four felt pub beer prices were about right.
Camra pointed out that a third of the cost of a pint is made up of taxes including beer duty, business rates and VAT, and warned rising prices could drive consumers out of pubs, putting the businesses at risk.
Chairman Jackie Parker said: “It’s no surprise that most people are finding pub pints unaffordable, given the tax burden they’re facing. Beer drinkers will naturally look to more cost-effective ways to enjoy a drink, such as buying from off-licences and supermarkets for home consumption.
“The result is incredibly detrimental to our local communities and to our own personal connectivity. Having a good local makes people happier, better-connected and more trusting.”
But Andy Wood, chief executive of Southwold pub owner and brewer Adnams, said: “Great pubs run by great people in great locations will continue to thrive.”
Pricing was an important factor, but the key was getting the offer right and ensuring a good customer experience. “Customers are not daft, they understand that the costs of running a pub means that more has to be charged for beer,” he said. “Pubs are critically important to communities and part of our social fabric but if customers leave dissatisfied it will be a long time before the return, whatever the price being charged for beer.”
Suffolk pub landlord Darren Hayward, of the Black Horse at Thorndon, near Eye, admitted business rates were burdensome for pubs and other small businesses, even with rates relief, but felt that people drank for different reasons, and those who wanted a social beer and a chat would still be drawn to a good pub.
“I think the worst tax of all is business rates, without a doubt. You pay a lot of money but you don’t see a lot for it,” he said, but added: “It’s a changing marketplace and you have got to adapt and change with it.”
A Treasury spokesman said 90% of pubs can benefit from the business rates relief, saving up to £1,000 a year, and changes in alcohol duty had saved them around £3bn since 2013.