Darling vows to stand by duty rises

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Lib dem mp Public house Beer

Darling vows to stand by duty rises
Chancellor still believes he was right to raise alcohol duty despite trade uproar

Chancellor Alistair Darling has vowed to stand firm on the alcohol duty rises promised in the Budget.

 In response to a question by Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland in the Commons on Thursday, Darling said: "We are not proposing to change the Budget at all."

 However, the campaign to ban Darling from every pub is hitting home.

 "I understand that I have been barred from more pubs than anyone else in the country, including pubs that I have never been in and many that I have never even heard of,"​ he said.

 "It is the first time that I have ever come across that."

 He added: "We raised the duty on alcohol primarily to finance what we are doing to increase the amount paid to people over 60 through the winter fuel payment, and to help families with children.

 "I took account of the fact that the average price of a bottle of wine, for example, has fallen over the past 10 years.

 "I know that pubs around the country face certain difficulties, although I think that the hon. Gentleman will acknowledge that there has been a change in people's habits generally.

 "However, constraints in the EU rules mean that it is not possible to have differential rates for beer that is bought as on-sales or off-sales.

 "Of course, I have a great deal of sympathy for anyone running a business and trying to attract new customers, but I think that what I did in relation to alcohol was right, especially when one considers where a lot of that alcohol has been going."

 Fight the Hikes

 The MA is calling on licensees and their customers to Fight the Hikes and make Alistair Darling realise he has made a grave mistake.

 GET INVOLVED

  Follow these easy steps:

 1. Download a  Fight the Hikes Poster​ and put it up in your pub.

 2. Download the Fight The Hikes Petition and get your regulars to join the campaign. Consumer support is vital.

 3. Download Extra Petition Sheets.

 4. Download the Fight the Hikes Letter and send it to your MP. It asks them to sign an EDM condemning the duty hikes, tells them about the campaign and invites them to the pub to discuss the issues first hand.

 5. Find your MP's contact details here. Post or email him the letter.

 6. Send your completed petitions to Fight the Hikes, Morning Advertiser, William Reed Business Media, Broadfield Park, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9RT.

 7. Join the  Fight the Hikes Facebook group​.

 8. Take a picture of you, staff and customers with the poster and petition and email it to  Ewan.Turney@william-reed.co.uk​.

 • Remember you can also  Ban the Chancellor from your pub by clicking here​.

Related topics Legislation

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