Publican is giving out beer vouchers to beat the budget

PUBLISHED: 09:56 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 04 May 2010

Agata Czarnecka

Agata Czarnecka

AN Ely publican is taking matters into his own hands to combat the hike in beer prices. Steve Haslam, of the Cutter Inn is offering a Working Person s Beer Tax voucher for every pint bought at his popular riverside pub on Annesdale. Customers can save up

AN Ely publican is taking matters into his own hands to combat the hike in beer prices.

Steve Haslam, of the Cutter Inn is offering a Working Person's Beer Tax voucher for every pint bought at his popular riverside pub on Annesdale. Customers can save up their vouchers to get a free pint, get 10p off each pint of beer, or donate the vouchers to local charities, in a promotion which is scheduled to start at the end of this week.

"We wanted to make people aware that the Government has been harsh on the industry. Rather than just giving a negative reaction to the Budget we wanted to be proactive and positive," said Mr Haslam. "Customers do moan to us if the prices go up and now we're launching this campaign to do something about it. We are in the firing line but it's the government's fault."

Pubs across the UK have been hit with an average rise of 15p on every pint of beer after brewery prices went up by 4.5 per cent, and government tax on alcohol went up an extra 4p a pint in the 2008 Budget.

Other pubs in Ely have been hit hard by price increases. The King's Arms in Ely was forced to put prices up by 10-20p this month. "This is another knife in the back for the pub trade," said King's Arms publican Andrew King.

"The Government will never achieve what they set out to," he added. "People are coming in and drinking less in the pub, but they can go and get alcohol much cheaper from the supermarket and drink it at home. I feel like I'm not being allowed to make a go of my business, and I'm being priced out by supermarkets. They can afford to sell alcohol at a loss, but I only sell alcohol and food, and we've already been hit hard since the smoking ban, where I lost about 40 per cent of my trade overnight. We can't afford not to put prices up."

Pic cap: Agata Czarnecka, a member of the bar staff team at The Cutter with one of the vouchers.

Photo: HELEN DRAKE.

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