New research commissioned by consumer organisation CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) reveals that only one in 10 Brits believes a pint is still affordable.
Despite some variation, the figures paint a grim picture across the whole of Britain. Drinkers in Scotland felt the most out of pocket at the bar, with just 6% saying a pint was affordable. Despite having some of the steepest prices in the UK, a high of 15% of Londoners said they found a pint affordable.
CAMRA has long called on government to level the playing field between regulated, community venues like pubs and social clubs, and off-license venues like supermarkets, which face far lower levels of regulation and tax. Additionally, the beer tie and other exclusive purchasing agreements mean many publicans are locked into contracts that mean they must buy beer and cider at higher than market prices, further increasing prices at the bar.
The Campaign celebrated lobbying success with the introduction of a new draught duty rate on 1 August. Under this new system, beer and cider sold on draught pays a lower rate of tax, which recognises the social and community value of the on-trade in the alcohol duty system for the first time.
Despite this, the price of a pint has continued to rise as the cost-of-business crisis has hit pubs and brewers, forcing them to increase prices. At the same time, the cost-of-living crisis has meant that many consumers can’t afford to spend as much supporting local pubs, clubs, brewers and cider makers.
Commenting, CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona said: “This data shows how vital it is that government takes action this autumn and use their planned fiscal event to reassess the huge financial burden they place on the trade.
“A pint down the pub with friends is one of life’s simple pleasures, as well as being a unique part of our cultural heritage. It’s devastating that so few of us feel that this is affordable.
“Our campaigning priorities over the next few months will be calling for a shakeup of the punishing Business Rates systems, action to address energy costs, seeing the draught duty rate refined to work better for pubs, and working to secure increased access to market for small UK brewers.”