Day: 21 March 2013

Among the tangle of announcements in Wednesday’s Budget was a statement to cheer the heart of real ale drinkers everywhere. As the Chancellor announced it: “We will now scrap the beer duty escalator altogether. And instead of the 3p rise in beer duty tax planned for this year I am cancelling it altogether. That’s the freeze people have been campaigning for. But I’m going to go one step further and I am going to cut beer duty by 1p. We’re taking a penny off a pint. The cut will take effect this Sunday night and I expect it to be passed on in full to customers.” George Osborne is of course entirely naïve in believing that a one penny cut in the price of a £3 pint will be passed on to the customers. How do you make a 1p cut to a commodity priced in 10p units? But expecting that level of reality from a Chancellor of Exchequer these days is perhaps far too much. Beer is so important here in Shropshire. Around 4,800 are employed in our 651 pubs, and many more in our 18 breweries. They underpin much of the tourist industry – not only by serving…

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