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Gloucestershire Business News

Brits back CAMRA manifesto

As voters get ready to head to the polls tomorrow (Thursday), new research shows that Brits want to see the next government take action for pubs, pints and people - whilst just 12% say a pint is affordable.

Consumer rights group CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) is calling for candidates to offer their support to its manifesto on pubs, pints and people in the run-up to the General Election.

CAMRA members and the general public alike have sent thousands of lobbying emails, laying out CAMRA's vision for quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community.

Now new research commissioned by the campaign shows the strength of support for the manifesto's three core asks: improved consumer rights, better access to market for independent producers, and fairer tax.

Consumer rights

Consumers don't currently have a right to information about where their beer comes from and shockingly, only 17% of real ale drinkers consider themselves very confident in identifying the difference between global brands and independent brewers at the bar.

CAMRA is calling on the next Government to introduce this right, so consumers can make an informed choice about the products they choose, along with a new right to a full pint - which isn't currently the law, despite being backed by 60% of Brits.

Access to market

The CAMRA manifesto also calls on the next Government to open up the pub market. Making it easier for independent beer and cider makers to see their products on the bar not only supports independent producers but also creates more consumer choice. Surveying found that a whopping 77% of Brits support changes to give licensees the ability to serve independently brewed beer, rather than just the products manufactured by the few big players that control much of the pub market.

Fairer tax

The price of a pint of beer remains a key concern for consumers, with a mere 12% saying they consider the average price of a pint affordable.

CAMRA wants to see the next government tackle this with fairer taxes, that would recognise and encourage the social benefits of consuming beer, cider and perry on licensed premises. Extending the difference between tax paid on draught beer and cider in the pub and that sold in off-licences and supermarkets, combined with a reduced VAT rate on beer and cider sold in the on-trade, would address the spiralling price of a pint.

Commenting on the research, CAMRA chair Nik Antona said: "Our campaigning priorities - and the priorities of consumers across Britain - are clear. The next Government should take immediate action for pubs, pints and people.

"Consumers should get a new right to a full pint, and the government should make sure people know where their beer is coming from, to stop confusion over global giants pretending to be local craft brewers. It's shocking that only 12% believe a pint is affordable, and making tax on pints fairer should also be a priority in order to keep pubs going accessible."

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