Twelve and a tanner a bottle

Will Fyffe:

That’s 62½ post-decimal pence.

For what it’s worth, on 19th April 1920, Tory Chancellor Austen Chamberlain increased the price of a bottle of Scotch was increased from ten shillings (50p) to that exorbitant 12/6d. At the outbreak of the Second World War,  Liberal National Chancellor John Simon the price hiked it further to 14/3d.

By no coincidence, here’s the current issue of What’s Brewing, the CAMRA newsletter, arriving by the day’s post.

The Big Story, as each month, is the beer duty escalator. Britain now taxes each pint higher (and harder) than any other European country. For 5% ABV beer, the duty is 55p a pint (on top of which, over the counter, goes a further 20% VAT — so a £3.50 pint contributes at least £1.05 to Conservative Chancellor George Osborne’s kitty).

Only Sweden (47p), and Ireland (39p) come anywhere near. In Germany the tax is just 5p a pint. In France 7p.

There’s one country obviously missing, but Malcolm reckons that is because Belgian beer-tax seems an impenetrable conundrum. At least Belgium seems to have some sanity: the tax apparently is raised on the size of the brewery’s production, rather than the individual consumer’s capacity to be mulcted.

The e-petition on the beer duty escalator is here.


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Filed under Beer, Britain, CAMRA

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