12 Days Remaining

Wednesday 14th
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

TAX on alcohol sales in pubs should be cut because it amounts to an “attack on working-class people,” food and drink workers said yesterday.

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), which represents pub staff, voted to call for duties on beer, cider and spirits to be reduced immediately to boost the “dying” British pub industry.

Bristol delegate Adam Brown said: “It’s pretty straightforward, we’ve seen an excessive amount of pubs close in recent years.

“Pubs play in an important part in communities. I honestly believe by [cutting tax] we’ll save an institution that’s vital to our country.”

Wigan delegate Adele Andrews said: “To me, [high tax on pub sales] seems like an attack on working-class people.

“Lets support an increase in the price of champagne in the House of Commons.”

A study last year found that on average 21 British pubs were closing every week. The Campaign for Real Ale said a pint in a local was becoming an “unaffordable luxury” and punters were being forced to drink at home instead.

Wetherspoon worker Steve Day said: “I’m not allowed to serve anyone who’s already drunk — whereas a supermarket will sell you two bottles of rum.

“For me, this is about safe consumption of alcohol.”

But Hovis Bradford delegate Dave Suddards said: “It isn’t taxation that’s caused pubs to shut, it’s a social change that’s been caused by big business and the media. The problem is not taxation, it’s supermarkets selling cheap booze.”

BFAWU will now lobby the government to cut duties.