Plans to increase beer tax could have a devastating effect on an already blighted industry. The recession has come hot on the tail of alcohol tax increases and the smoking ban each of which has taken its toll on the pub industry.
Some 2,000 pubs have closed and over 20,000 jobs have been lost since the government raised taxes last year.
Research organisation Oxford Economic has estimated that further tax increases will put 75,000 jobs under threat.
Country pubs that are often family run businesses are suffering every bit as much as the inner city venues where the problem of alcohol related disorder is an issue.
This tax increase is intended to reduce alcohol fuelled crime and disorder. It is ironic that the introduction of 24 hour drinking by the government heightened the problem resulting in an increase of 42% in penalty notices for disorder over the first year it was introduced.
The real tragedy is that occurrence of teenage binge drinking continues to grow unabated and alcohol fuelled anti-social behaviour is not diminishing as a result of increasing taxes.
The government appears to be stabbing in the dark and making one big mistake after another in its search for a solution to this problem.
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