Only 15% think “the price of a pint in the UK is fairly affordable,” warns CAMRA

02/10/2017 - 09:03
New research from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) reveals that only “15% of UK beer drinkers now think that the price of a pint in the UK is either very or fairly affordable,” warning that the British pub-going tradition could be at risk of dying out.

The study, which includes the below findings, was conducted by YouGov and will be presented to Chancellor Philip Hammond as part of CAMRA’s budget submission, ahead of the autumn budget on 22 November.

  • On average, each pub in the UK pays nearly £140,000 in taxes each year
  • 4 in 10 pubs are experiencing a rise to their business rates
  • Around 37% of the total cost of a pint is now made up of taxes
  • The UK pays nearly 40% of all beer duty in the EU but only consumes around 12% of the beer

Responding to the news, the organisation is “calling for a permanent £5,000 business rate relief for all pubs in England,” claiming that they “will need to sell more than 20,000 extra pints of beer every year to cover the rises in their business rates,” as well as “a freeze, or reduction in, beer duty for the rest of this Parliament.“

CAMRA's national chairman, Colin Valentine, said: "The British pub is unique and has been rooted in Britain's history for hundreds of years. All the evidence shows that drinking alcohol in moderation in the company of others is good for people's wellbeing, yet the opportunity to get together and enjoy a beer is being taken away from swathes of people on lower and middle incomes, who are increasingly viewing a pub pint as an unaffordable luxury.

"Many landlords are in a tricky situation in that they are forced to either raise their prices or close their doors forever. It is the people on lower incomes will be hit the hardest, and will then choose to drink at home. In addition, thousands of local pubs are at risk of closure, bringing devastating consequences for their local communities.

"The Chancellor must take urgent action in this budget if we are to keep pub-going a social activity open to all and prevent local pubs from being wiped off the map."

Warning of the repercussions, the organisation warned that increasing costs could see landlords increase prices even more, or be forced to shut down forever.

Christo Tofalli, landlord of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks (St Albans), added: "We are re-launching our campaign to scrap the unfair tax burden on pubs and are therefore calling for an urgent fundamental review into the business rates system with an immediate freeze on rates until the review is finished. We cannot wait five years.

"To put it simply, pubs are at the point of no return. Our pub's massive 47% increase in business rates is nothing in comparisons to the Boot's pubs increase of 286%. 

"Our message is beginning to gain momentum, and having the might of CAMRA's 190,000 members behind us is very good news for St Albans pubs. The support from our local community is essential, so please help add your voice to this important campaign."

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