Measures in the Chancellor's budget - not just the cancellation of the 6p beer duty rise, but the further 1p cut, as well as the scrapping of the beer duty escalator- are a welcome step to help protect the livelihoods of our publicans. However, borough councils also need to step in with stricter planning policies that favour protecting pubs as community hubs.
Minimum alcohol pricing is the right step towards reversing the increasing trend of drinking at home, although some doctors claim that the base price is too low. On beer duty, however, it appears pubs will have to dig into their own pockets again for the next round. The Treasury is certainly not buying it.