A PUB boss in South Tyneside has warned real ale lovers not to expect a cheaper pint – despite George Osborne announcing a penny off beer.
In addition to cutting beer duty by a penny a pint, the chancellor reduced whisky and spirits duty by two per cent.
It was a populist move on the cusp of a general election.
But don’t expect it to have an impact on the price of a pint at The Steamboat, the award-winning real ale house on the Mill Dam in South Shields.
The pub’s supplier Punch Taverns recently increased the price of a pint – now averaging £3.10 – thus nullifying the chancellor’s move.
Kathleen Brain, The Steamboat’s bar manager, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement will make no difference to the price of beer here as Punch Taverns had pre-empted the budget and put our prices up anyway. At least what we can say is that there should be no further increase.”
Meanwhile, Colin Shevills. director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, was under-whelmed.
He said: “One North East child a day is admitted to hospital because of alcohol. Liver disease amongst under 35s has tripled in ten years.
“Over half of violent crime is linked to alcohol. All of this is largely driven by the widespread availability of cheap alcohol. The fact that the chancellor chose to listen to the big alcohol companies and make alcohol even cheaper is staggering.”