Drinkers across the county have been appalled by Alistair Darling's decision to increase the tax on cider by 10% above the rate of inflation. Already the protests are starting with a Downing Street petition launched
and even a Facebook campaign to get the Worzel's classic 'I am a Cider Drinker' to number one in protest.
While minsters argue that the tax increase will discourage underage drinking, many cite the hike as unfair. Cider has traditionally be subject to a lower level of taxation than other drinks due to the high set-up costs compared to beer brewing and the time taken to turnover the product.
Its seems that once again the nation's pubs will feel the pinch more than anyone with the price of a pint down your local increasing by an estimated 20p. Going back 20 to 30 years a pint in a pub would cost you around twice as much as the equivalent from a supermarket. Its now estimated that the difference could be typically 4 or 5 times that amount.
Surely a fairer way would be to distinguish the taxation between those drinks served on tap at pubs and those bottled or canned drinks available from Supermarkets and off-licences. If the tax rises are being justified as ways of combating underage drinking such a distinction between off-licence and pub taxation would lead to more people drinking in the sociable environment of their local pub than getting boozed up at home or on the streets.