Cut in alcohol duty not enough for publicans

Mick Dennison. Pub Landlord. York Hotel, Morecambe.
Mick Dennison. Pub Landlord. York Hotel, Morecambe.

The clocks went forward last weekend, members of my staff were late into work and the rain came down – welcome to British summer time.

Now the nights are lighter for longer will there be a surge in custom for the licensing trade?

Hard to predict but the 1p cut in alcohol duty is not really going to drag people away from their TVs and X-Boxes. It has been muted amongst the nation’s publicans that a 5p cut would have been more significant and would have served as an incentive to get people through the doors.

If anything a cut in business rates would massively help hard pressed publicans to hopefully make a decent living out of the trade and would help to increase the margins enough to help paying the extra 20p an hour the Government have put on the minimum wage.

For those that aren’t aware, a pub can be paying over £600 a month on rates, but where does the money go? The street lights are normally covered by normal council tax and ditto the police. As for waste disposal, forget it – we come under the scrutiny of the recycle zealots and pay another fortune to have cardboard, bottles and general waste cleared away.

Great business for the waste disposal companies but not too good for the pubs.

Of course this is always good news for supermarkets as they are selling their alcohol well below the prices they should be, for a pub to discount like them would be commercial suicide.

It’s the case then that pubs and bars end up paying 15p per pint in rates against 1p per pint by the supermarkets.

Now, add the cost of Sky and BT that can add up to nearly £1000 a month for the privilege of watching overpriced Premier League footballers falling over and hurting themselves and you will probably now realise a 1p cut in the duty rate was sneered at by many in the trade.

So, enjoy your Easter break as all the town’s publicans will be waiting for hopefully a bumper weekend and some decent weather .