Budget day is over and inevitable rises have been announced but it could have been a lot worse for publicans, according to the manager of a Birmingham pub.
Julian Gibbs has run the recently-transformed The Victoria, in John Bright Street, for the past 18 months and admits that he’s not too concerned about the announcements.
The 36-year-old, who lives above the pub, has been in the industry for 15 years and was the former boss of city centre rival Red Bar.
But he wasn’t too shocked by the announcement of a ten per cent above inflation rise on cider duty, to be introduced from Sunday.
He was also expecting that duty on beer, wine and spirits would increase and said the rise of two per-cent above inflation for two further years from 2013 was not a surprise.
He said the changes will not immediately affect his prices at The Victoria.
“I don’t think increasing the tax duty on cider is the smartest idea by the Government because it’s well known that cider sales increase during the summer,” he said.
“But we will assess the damage over the next few months and then take action if necessary.”
The Victoria sells Westons Stowford Press cider on draught for £3 a pint as well as various other branded bottled cider including Strongbow, Magners and Kopparberg.
“Guinness and lager prices have gone up dramatically of late and we’ve had to react by increasing prices slightly,” he added. “People will be expecting us to increase again, but I think they will have a nice surprise.”
Since the venue was given a makeover in 2008, Mr Gibbs has seen a steady increase in custom.
“Beer prices are going up and up all the time, but we always try as hard as we can not to let it affect the customer,” he added.
Since 2008, beer tax has increased by 26 per cent – a £761 million tax rise and nationally beer sales are down £650million in the last year alone.
But Mr Gibbs is glad that the Budget is over and is now looking to the future. “It’s the day of the year we all dread, but I’m really not that concerned because I don’t think it’s a massive blow.”