CAMRA defends decision to honour Andrew Griffiths

By Ellie Bothwell contact

- Last updated on GMT

Colin Valentine said the positive impact of the recent cuts in beer duty should not be underestimated
Colin Valentine said the positive impact of the recent cuts in beer duty should not be underestimated

Related tags: Public house, Camra

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) national chairman Colin Valentine has defended the group’s decision to name Andrew Griffiths MP Parliamentarian of the Year, stating that the views of a “small number of people” who sought to tarnish the trophy are “not necessarily representative of the views of the wider membership”.

Valentine said that while Griffiths has not supported CAMRA’s campaigns on pub company reform or planning protection for pubs, “this should not detract” from his contribution on beer duty.

He added: “CAMRA works with a wide range of organisations and individuals on specific campaigns where we agree, notwithstanding their views on other matters.”

CAMRA confirmed that the decision on the winner of the award was made by Valentine, following discussions with senior CAMRA staff and volunteers.

The move caused uproar among the organisation’s members and anti-pubco campaigners earlier this week.

Colin Valentine’s response in full

“CAMRA has recognised Andrew Griffiths MP for his work in leading the campaign to reduce beer duty. Whilst he has not supported our campaigns on pub company reform or planning protection for pubs this should not detract from his contribution on beer duty. CAMRA works with a wide range of organisations and individuals on specific campaigns where we agree, notwithstanding their views on other matters. The positive impact of the recent cuts in beer duty should not be underestimated. CAMRA will be publishing a report later this month setting out how effective cutting beer duty has been in keeping pubs open, protecting jobs and in saving consumers money.

“We note that a small number of people have sought to tarnish the award presented to Andrew Griffiths MP, who has done so much to secure the recent cuts in beer duty. The views of these people are not necessarily representative of the views of the wider membership who have given great support to our campaigning on beer duty.

“A wide range of different opinions are expressed on social media by CAMRA members and non members alike. Views put forward by individuals on their Twitter accounts are not necessarily representative of the views of CAMRA nationally or the wider membership.

“The decision on the winner of the Beer Parliamentarian of the Year Award is taken by CAMRA’s Chairman following discussions with senior CAMRA staff and volunteers. The decision was based solely on Andrew Griffiths MP’s outstanding contribution to the beer duty campaign.”

Related topics: Other operators

Related news

Show more

15 comments

Show more

Duty - another perspective

Posted by Interested Observer,

If we accept the general proposition that beer is being sold widely by the brewer at no more than £250 / brl - about 50% of the list price - then duty accounts for about 50% of each and every invoice.

So it's a little like running a pub where the cost of beer is about 50% of every pound taken in the till.

No wonder the brewers pass increases down the line, just as publicans do duty and wholesale rises.

There can be all sorts of theories about price substitution in 2014 and 2015, but no one saw the 2013 cut coming and it was, contrary to Karl's assertion passed down the line.

Report abuse

The Duty Con

Posted by Karl Harrison,

I'm still amazed that so few people - including CAMRA it seems - really get the Duty point. Its a tax on producers not retailers or consumers. The reason it becomes a tax on retailers and consumers is that the brewers always pass it down the line. They don't have to but they do. Somehow, over the years, they've managed to work it into even the Chancellor's budget speech that the increase in duty is "...1p on the price of a pint of beer" etc etc. Doesn't have to be at all but when do brewers swallow the tax? Never. Do they pass on the benefit of Duty cuts? Of course not. Either the government or the brewers have their hand in your pocket and we don't get to choose which. When there is a Duty cut or suspension then the brewers and their pubco buddies just infill with their own price increases. Even Rob Willock found the price increases this year to be unacceptable and that's saying something I guess. Its interesting that the brewers and pubcos aren't backing any VAT concession as they can't directly grab it although they tried last time when it was temporarily reduced to 15%. In short the brewers and pubcos are more than happy to have us clueless publicans and the idiots at CAMRA back their cash grabs from the exchequer but don't expect to be handed any of the cash. Colin Valentine at CAMRA was clearly blinded by the glitzy chandeliers at the London dinners held by the Beer Group. None of this is lost on the much brighter Griffiths of course who probably can't believe how daft the Chairman of CAMRA really is. Trebles all round then. Well done Colin

Report abuse

to tooldinthetooth

Posted by Northern licencee,

Well just because Marston's buys a pub doesnt mean the end of cask conditioned ale. Marstons brew a lot themselves and give their tenants access to others.

So from that point of view not an issue for CAMRA

I know and use many microbreweries and most of them are too busy with what they have, to worry much about unclenching the fist of Marstons, I am not sure what the concept of a fair share for a microbrewery might be. By definition they would be small and presumably nipping at the heels of the big boys, they currently play on a field tilted in their favour by progressive beer duty, would they welcome FOT status for Marstons tenants in return for the same duty, propably not.

Report abuse