SIBA praises government – I guess someone has too

the Society for Independent Brewers (SIBA) welcomed the government plans to put fixed pricing on the back burner, althought thsi would have affected me all that much, i abandoned the cheap ales a really long time ago i still thin this would be disastourous for all involved, they claim that they are doing this in the interests of public health but as we learned prohibition controling what people can drink is never good and will only lead to an increase in illegal beers. More on that at a later date.

“This is the approach advocated by SIBA in its submission to the Government’s consultation on alcohol policy,” said SIBA chairman Keith Bott. “We felt, as the Government clearly feels, that there is not sufficient evidence that minimum unit pricing would counter problem drinking without penalising responsible drinkers.

“On the ban on below-cost selling, we would prefer to see a genuine measure of below-cost, rather than the tax and VAT included in today’s announcement. This would, we believe, see an end to the most irresponsible alcohol promotions in supermarkets, without having a detrimental effect on beers that are sold, like the majority of our members’ output, in the pub.”

He added: “The Government has set industry a challenge to strengthen its commitment to combat harmful drinking and SIBA will, of course, work alongside our industry partners to rise to this challenge.

“The Government’s historic decision to cut beer duty in this year’s Budget was recognition that draught beer is a relatively low-alcohol drink, enjoyed for the most part in the sociable, supervised environment of the pub. SIBA welcomes this recognition and will continue to push for a redressing of the balance between the price of beer in pubs and supermarkets as a way of encouraging more consumers into pubs which are, as many MPs now acknowledge, part of the solution to harmful drinking, not the problem.”

“We are especially grateful to the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, headed by Andrew Griffiths, for organising the duty fraud enquiry which was clearly pivotal in bringing about the decision,” said Keith. “HMRC has recognised that duty fraud affects bottled and canned beer and, therefore, that illicit beer is purchased largely in the off-trade for home consumption. It is, therefore, another factor contributing to the decline of pub traffic. As over 80% of SIBA members’ production is draught beer, it is clearly in our interests to make sure that duty revenue is collected, and thereby avoid this distortion of the market.”

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