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‘Budget duty cut won’t make beer any cheaper’

BEER NO CHEAPER... Dave Brazier.

BEER NO CHEAPER... Dave Brazier.

DON’T expect to see a penny off the price of pint in South Tyneside pubs any time soon - despite a beer duty cut announced in yesterday’s budget.

That was the warning from Dave Brazier, the South Shields-based North East director of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.

Chancellor George Osborne announced that beer duty is being reduced by 1p for an unprecedented second consecutive time.

But Mr Brazier explained: “Don’t expect to be able to go into a pub and get a pint for £2.99 instead of £3. The pub chains will keep that 1p, but at least it means that the price in the pub is less likely to go up.”

Mr Brazier expressed disappointment that the Chancellor did not announce a long-anticipated commission on the links between what pub chains charge licensed premises for rent and beer prices.

It was a view shared by Ted Salmon, North East regional chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, who said: “We have strongly argued for statutory regulation for pubs tied to one of the big pub companies so they are given a fair deal on the price they pay.”

One of the most eye-catching announcements was the move to raise the personal allowances – the amount at which a person earns before paying tax – from £10,000 to £10,500.

The chancellor also announced a planned rise in fuel duty in September has been cancelled.

That was welcomed by Coun Steve Harrison, who represents Fellgate and Hedworth in Jarrow for UKIP and who is also a taxi driver.

He says the price cap will be a boost to the transport industry.

Coun Harrison said: “It is good news. You would always like for there to be further reduction but the fact it isn’t going up is to be welcomed. It will also be good news for the haulage industry.”

Mr Osborne also announced that a two per cent tax rise each year on tobacco would continue into the next Parliament.

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul

 

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