'Government accused of launching war on pubs'

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Jd wetherspoon founder, Wetherspoon founder tim, Founder tim martin, Beer

"JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin has accused the government of launching a war on boozers. Ministers want to tackle binge drinking by bringing in...

"JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin has accused the government of launching a war on boozers. Ministers want to tackle binge drinking by bringing in tougher penalties for bars caught selling drink to underage customers. But Martin told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'The irony is, it makes binge drinking worse because people are driven out of pubs, where at least it is supervised.'" - Daily Star

"Britain's binge-drinking epidemic is sucking more than £2.7bn a year out of the NHS for injuries and illness. A hard-hitting report, Too Much Of The Hard Stuff​, warned the startling cost of treating our rampant boozing is double what it was five years ago. The alarming findings follow scenes of New Year mayhem as drunk party-goers ran wild in the streets, grappled with police and passed out in the snow. Treating those who ended up in hospital during the festivities cost an estimated £23m alone." - Daily Mirror

"For the struggling pub industry, the benefits of last year's VAT cut were negated by a corresponding increase on beer tax and more above-inflation price rises are expected this year. Adam Fowle, chief executive of pub group Mitchells & Butlers, has already said that the increase in VAT in 2010 will mean that revenue and profits will be flat for the year. But managed pub chain JD Wetherspoon said it was launching an indefinite 'VAT freeze' on several drinks brands." - Mail on Sunday

"Hundreds of thousands of businesses - including many icons of Britain - will be hit by sudden and dramatic tax rises this April under changes to Government business rates. Many will see the rateable value of their premises increased by up to 700 per cent and some will see the actual total they pay more than double overnight. Among the biggest victims are county cricket grounds, zoos and safari parks, historic buildings, livestock markets, filling stations, heritage railways, and lifeboat stations. Pubs, shops and restaurants are also hit." - Sunday Telegraph

"Midas, the Mail on Sunday's share tipper, rates Midlands brewer Marston's a 'buy'. Marston's shares are trading at 88p, but brokers believe they should rise to about 120p. The management is extremely focused and the company should benefit from economic recovery and its own expansion programme. Marston's is expected to pay a dividend of about 5.8p this year, which puts the shares on a generous 6.6 per cent yield." - Mail on Sunday

"The pub industry has been fraught over the past couple of years, but some operators have held it together despite the difficulties. One of these is Greene King, which makes beer as well as selling it in its 2,600 pubs. Greene King shares, priced at 408p, trade on a p/e ratio of 9.5 times next year's earnings, according to house broker Deutsche Bank. Despite a challenging outlook for the leisure industry, I believe these are worth tucking away." - Matthew Goodman writing in the Sunday Times

Related topics: Legislation

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