I was asked at the bar recently why there is such a price difference between a pint in the North and South of the UK. The average pint in Britain costs over £3, but in the North this can be closer to £2.50, with London prices helping to hike up the southern part of the country. Property prices, rent, general costs of living are all cheaper the further north you go all contributing to lower operating costs for pubs in the North. I’m sure competition for the smaller proportion of disposable income on lower salaries also plays a part in keeping prices down. However, North or South, £3 or £2.50, beer prices are on the up and there IS something you can do…
Bear with me for some maths behind this: The average price of a pint in a pub in the UK has increased from about £2 in 2002 which is a 50% increase. In that same time excise duty on beer has risen from around 28p to 44p, a 57% increase, and VAT on the average pint has risen from 35p to 61p which is a massive 74% increase! This simply means that the average tax paid on a pint in a pub has risen from 63p to £1.05, a whopping 67% increase & this doesn’t include the PAYE on the employees of the breweries, distributors & pubs collected by those right honorable gentlemen, the tax men.
During the last ten years, inflation has only risen by around 30% (£2 in 2002 is worth roughly £2.60 today), meaning our pint has increased by over 40p above inflation, over half of this can be accounted for by the out of proportion tax hikes. Other rising costs to brewers such as grain, hops, power & transport as well as similar rises to pubs including staff & energy costs etc account for the rest of the rise.
If you disagree with my maths or my simplified financial data you could spend two minutes arguing or correcting me by commenting on this blog, or you could put those TWO MINUTES to good use and just sign the petitions below.
Not happy about the price we’re paying for a pint? Not happy that in these times of hardship the sacred institution of the British Pub & your pocket are being penalised? There are two small steps YOU can take to make the Government aware that we, as a nation, are not happy. Two small steps which will take you a matter of minutes. Two small steps which can raise awareness in the Commons and force the Government to discuss these policies.
Signing the ‘Stop the beer duty escalator’ petition could help to slow the rising price of enjoying a pint in a supervised safe environment like a pub vs the below-cost sales of alcohol drunk to excess at home or on the streets.
Signing the ‘Cut VAT to 5% for hospitality industry’ could help reduce the cost of drinking and eating out and slow the closure of pubs, helping to increase jobs in the sector as it has done in other European countries.
There are over 50,000 pubs in the UK and (at the time of writing) only 41,637 signatures on the Duty escalator petition. Pete Brown gave a rallying cry to Publicans to get behind the duty petition in a recent article in the Trade Press. I’d like to invite the pub going great British public to take up the gauntlet too. Surely there is more than 1 of you per pub who would like to pay less for their beer?