Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Supporting pubs

CAMRA has mounted a campaign to encourage George Osborne to cut beer duty in the budget of 18th March. I would not object to such a cut, but there are other areas of taxation which deserve more attention. Moreover, the UK is home to whisky (not forgetting Penderyn) and even whiskey and it would be unfair to widen the historical gap between duty on beer and on the water of life again.

However, the ostensible reason for the campaign, of keeping pubs open, is specious. Whatever reduction is applied to beer in public houses will also be made to beer in supermarkets. What would help pubs, and also reduce destructive private drinking, would be a step no government now dare take: restrict the sale of alcohol to those premises whose main business it is.

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