THE government’s decision to increase alcohol duty tax nationally has been slammed by pubs and breweries in Greater Manchester.
The tax increase, which was officially announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond in his annual budget statement last week, came into effect on Monday.
It means that the average price of beer across the country will increase by 3.9% in line with inflation.
The result is that on average, beer will cost 2p more, a bottle of wine 8p and a bottle of spirits 30p in pubs across the country.
Mike Marcus, 44, owner of Chorlton Brewery, a small brewery that has been running for two years said: ‘’It means we have to make beer more expensive for the consumer.
‘’It’s so tragic that the Tory government are once again cutting things that only affect small businesses.
‘’It’s a holistic thing, I happen to be a brewer but I don’t feel any more discriminated against than say a baker for example.
‘’You’ve got pubs that are owned by big corporations like Heineken and then smaller independent companies.
‘’One is being looked after, the other one isn’t.’’
Jake MacRae, 25, shift manager at the Bridgewater pub in Worsley, Greater Manchester believes that the change will have a negative effect on an already declining industry.
Mr. MacRae said: ‘’It has a negative effect in the short term for us because our prices come into effect tomorrow so we’re not looking forward to telling our customers that.
‘’We’re part of Greene King so for us, it won’t be as bad but for smaller, independent pubs, it won’t be good at all.
‘’I think the industry is in a really terrible place and decline really.
‘’You see pubs close every week because it’s too expensive and it’s a shame because pubs are such an important part of communities.’’
Over 1,729 licenced premises across the region will be affected by the increase, which is the first rise of its kind in five years.