ALE Spring 2001 No. 301

Government Watch

Full Pints

The fight is on to get clear regulations on full pint measures. The Better Regulation Task Force is in a position to solve the problem but so far has only listened to vested interests in the business and has deliberately ignored consumer option, thereby coming to the view that no change is needed.

CAMRA and many MPs have protested (107 signed an Early Day Motion).

The current consultation paper from the DTI's Consumer Affairs group contains lots of fascinating details, including a review of the regulations and of case law: Measures of Beer and Cider Consultation Document.

CAMRA Press Release: MPS back full pint campaign

Beer Duty

The Budget speech gave no relief for drinkers or small brewers - duty on beer remained at its extortionate level (harming community pubs) and there was no introduction of a sliding scale of duty to help small brewers compete with the deeply-discounting big ones. However, in parallel Customs & Excise announced the Government is moving in the right direction: the Alcohol and Tobacco Duties press release explained it's minded to introduce reduced duty, after mulling it over for the next year.

As the Budget was supposed to help children, a wag commented the Chancellor should have cut duty on cigs and alcopops!

Meanwhile the Shadow Chancellor, Michael Portillo, has proposed a duty cut for beers under 2.5% - a rare breed! Locally only Potton No. 1 (2.2%) fits. Brakspear has just launched a 2.5% beer (called 2.5) and Harvey's have Family Ale (2.2%).

Inland Revenue: C&E 2: Alcohol and Tobacco Duties
CAMRA Press Release: Beer Drinkers Frozen Out

French Duty - 1775!

From Samuel Johnson's journal of his visit to France in 1775:

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