Beer is too expensive, says GMB

by - 13th September 2011, 8.10 BST

The average price for lager has risen by 80p a pint faster than inflation and changes in taxes since 1987, according to a new GMB study.

Sky high rents have priced local pubs out of the market with closures particularly in working class areas in Britain as those on low incomes lost pubs that survived the blitz and the great recession in the 1930s.

Lager is on average 80p per pint higher and ale is 65p per pint higher in 2011 in UK pubs than justified by inflation and like for like changes in taxes since 1987 a new study shows. Extortionate rents charged by landlords are responsible says GMB, the union for tied pub tenants.

According to Retail Price Index (RPI) data the average price for a pint of lager in 2011 is £3.09. This is 91p higher than the £2.18 it would have been now had it moved in line with inflation. RPI data shows that the average price for a pint of ale in 2011 is £2.70. This is 75p higher than the £1.95 it would have been now had it moved in line with inflation.

Retail prices in pubs are also subject to changes in VAT and excise duty as well as general inflation. There have been two increases in the rate of VAT since 1987 from 15% to 20%. Since 1987 excise duty on standard lager and ale has increased in real terms by 2p per pint faster than inflation. The additional taxes per pint, over and above keeping pace with the rate of inflation for both retail prices and taxes, are 11p per pint for lager and 10p per pint of ale.