ALE Summer 1997 No. 288

Will our new Parliament mean a better deal for beer drinkers?

One of Labour's election pledges is to eliminate short measure by the mandatory use of lined oversize glasses. In the meantime, CAMRA promises to monitor the abuse of the 20mm head - beer which you have paid for, which you never receive. [A Private Member's Bill for this has been introduced by Dennis Turner - see the Parliamentary Channel Teletext page.]

We look to the Chancellor to immediately rule out any increase in alcohol taxes, and commit the Government to cutting duty over the next three years. The Brewing industry continues to be hit by unfair and, in most cases, illegal competition by cross-Channel cowboys supplying beer for sale having paid duty only at the much smaller continental rate. Ten million pints of cheap foreign beer enter the country each week. When will the Treasury wake up?

[The Budget on 2-Jul-1997 raised duty by 3% from 1-Jan-1998 (1% by the Government inflates to 3% for publicans) but the Government is holding a comprehensive review of alcohol & tobacco duties, to be completed by then.]

Let's See Some Action

Next must come-a thorough review of our licensing laws, rather than make minor modifications here and there. The current system is costly and cumbersome to administer, with confusion between different functions and bodies. It fails to address the needs and preferences of today's consumers. Let the Government be seen to trust drinkers to make their own decisions and not be hamstrung by considerations relevant to First World War munitions workers.

CAMRA believes the way forward is to retain the principle of the tie, but to protect the interests of tenants; to eliminate the loophole in planning law by which many changes of use for pubs do not require planning permission; to defend and extend the successful guest beer law.

For more information, see CAMRA Campaigns.

Crippling duty ignored by Labour Government

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