Mandatory alcohol code expected to cost pub industry £58m

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Public house Beer Bbpa

Over 5,800 people support the Axe the Beer Tax, Save the Pub campaign
Over 5,800 people support the Axe the Beer Tax, Save the Pub campaign
The government has received widespread opposition to its mandatory alcohol code, which is expected to cost the industry £58m in its first year

Near total opposition to the mandatory alcohol code has led to calls for the government to reconsider its implementation, which is expected to cost the pub industry £58m in its first year, and an annual cost of £38m thereafter.

As the consultation on the code draws to a close this week, the British Beer and Pub Association​ (BBPA) has officially asked the government to reconsider the need for a code, which would see all licensed premises ‘micro-managed’ by them.

Martin Rawlings, director of pubs for the BBPA, said the code would be a ‘body blow’ to struggling pubs, which are now closing at a rate of 52 a week.

“With pubs struggling and the country in recession, it is hard to accept that the Home Office seems determined to bury the industry in yet more red tape,” he said. “All the powers needed to deal with the small minority of problem premises are already there.

“With public and political concern centred mainly on irresponsible promotions, the government could quite easily focus on legislating to ban these through a simple amendment to the Licensing Act and would have the full support from the industry, police, local authorities and the public were it to do so.  However, the rest of these proposals should be ditched as being unnecessary, excessive and disproportionate.”

Government consultation workshops held across the country returned near blanket opposition to the implementation of the code, with 93 per cent of Birmingham attendees voting against it, along with 80 per cent of Nottingham and 77 per cent of Cambridge.

So far over 5,800 Axe the Beer Tax, Save the Pub​ supporters are also against the code, and the BBPA is urging all those concerned about the effect it will have on the industry, to sign up.

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