Budget will show what politicians have learnt

By John Ellis

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Member of parliament General election Alcoholic beverage

Ellis: waiting for clear results from coalition Government
Ellis: waiting for clear results from coalition Government
Licensee John Ellis discusses yesterday's Emergency Budget and what it means for the pub trade.

The General Election has come and gone. The babies have been kissed and the flesh has been pressed. The Members of Parliament have got their careers, salaries and perks nice and safe for the next five years. But what about us?

The World Cup has been little more than a load of hype for many of us. Can politicians do any better? There were lots of promises made; some will be kept, some will be swept aside in the expedience of "saving the economy". That was always going to happen — as ever — no matter who had won the election.

We now know that VAT is going up and there is no further increase in duty, while the excessive cider duty increases have been cancelled. However, the increase in VAT next January, right after the Christmas spending spree, will kick in at a very quiet time for the economy as a whole. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on the trade, not only in the pub industry but in the wider British economy.

The real test for probity of politicians is whether they will live up to pre-election statements of fairness. Obviously, the effects of the Budget are going to suck a lot of money out of the economy. What is crucial to us is whether or not the on-trade is dealt with fairly, in comparison to the off-trade.

Following the election, no politician can claim not to know about the problem with the supermarkets selling at a loss.

None of them can claim not to know about the effect this is having on large swathes of our industry.

All of them should know that the supermarkets are causing a lot of pain to the whole economy, as what they are doing is selling alcohol at a loss, while receiving public subsidy through VAT rebates on alcohol losses.

The Budget speech and (perhaps more importantly) the following days of debate will show whether the politicians have learned anything about our trade in the past few years. It may even test some of them on how well they understand the whole economy.

Over the next few weeks, the results may become clearer. However, by the next election, everyone will know!

John Ellis is licensee of the Crown Inn, Oakengates, Shropshire.

Related topics Legislation

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