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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Don't just whinge ~ lobby!

In just three weeks, the Government will announce the Budget for the coming year. This is expected to include yet another tax increase for beer of at least 5% or about 3p a pint, which will probably translate into a 5-10p a pint increase in the pub.

We all know that our pubs just can’t handle any more tax increases - the Chancellor already takes over £1 of tax in every pub pint you buy - and as a result, they're under enormous pressure, with 16 closing every week. They're battling through the economic downturn handicapped by the 35% rise in beer tax in the last 3 years:  any further increases will just make their fight to survive even harder.

An Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled in Parliament for MPs to show their support for Britain’s beer and pub sector by asking the Government to suspend the beer duty escalator to help reduce pub closures, create 5,000 additional jobs and ensure pub going remains an affordable leisure activity. Please use this website to take two minutes to email your MP and ask them to sign up to this EDM and help increase the pressure on Government to take action.

We can whinge on websites, or we can lobby the people with the power to do something about it.  Let’s get lobbying!

7 comments:

  1. Maybe I'll winge about a 3p tax increase becoming a 10p price increase.

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  2. We go through this every year, and it never makes any difference, apart from such "successes" as the relief on 2.8% beers that nobody wants to drink. So is it all really just pissing in the wind?

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  3. Defeatist attitude there, Curmudgeon. If getting desirable change was easy, we'd live in an earthly paradise. Clearly we don't. So, should all campaigners - whether about serious issues or leisure activities, as in CAMRA - just give up because it's hard? You clearly think yes - I equally obviously think no.

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  4. On the other hand, it makes sense to concentrate your efforts where they are likely to have most chance of success. And you also need to be clear in your own mind whether you are simply bearing witness for a cause or whether you are realistically likely to change things.

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  5. I can sign these petitions without diluting my energy and efforts too much - after all, they take only a minute or two to do. Disagreement processes have to be followed because if you don't say you object, your silence will be interpreted as agreement to whatever they're planning. I'm under no illusions about the efficacy of e-petitions: I'm a seasoned campaigner in various fields over decades and I am fully aware of their likely impact. However, it is an easy way of registering disagreement, and doesn't prevent anyone from doing more should they wish to do so, and I would assert that I do just that beyond the confines of my blog.

    I'm not sure what the "bearing witness" comment means - it sounds rather religious to me - and it suggests you are simply trying to belittle (or at least dismiss) efforts of others who are doing things that you've no wish to do yourself because you assess them as futile. I reject your defeatism. You may be content to grumble on your blog about things going wrong, and how you warned us in the past, but that's not enough for me.

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  6. Let me try to explain the "bearing witness" comment. It is not meant in a bad way, but more that if you passionately believe in something, there is still a moral point in expounding that belief, even if you know the chances of it actually coming to pass as zero-to-minimal. At the end of the day you are answerable to your own conscience, and you should speak out for what is right.

    See my first comment on this post by Chris Snowdon: Offering Your Scorn.

    And it's worth repeating the quotation from US President John Quincy Adams: "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

    The current level of alcohol duty is wrong and counter-productive - I wholly agree with you on that. By all means express your strong and principled opposition to it, but don't kid yourself that, this year or next year, doing so will actually make any difference.

    And Cookie has some wise words here.

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  7. FWIW I've created a handy icon from the Hobgoblin website and put a prominent link to the petition on my blog. E-mail me if you want the HTML code.

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