What have they done with the old Rose and Crown?

by Walter Olson on March 9, 2009

roseandcrownpubsign

They’ve taxed it to death: “A record 2,000 British pubs have closed with the loss of 20,000 jobs since the chancellor, Alistair Darling, increased beer tax in the 2008 budget, new figures published by the British Beer and Pub Association reveal today.” [Guardian via Minton, CEI Open Market] A sheet music version of the Ian Robb song referenced in the headline is here, and the Campaign for Real Ale is here.

{ 2 comments }

1 Todd Rogers 03.09.09 at 7:48 pm

Let them drink cake!

My neighbors and I Some people I know make (and trade) wine and beer. We’veThey’ve yet to collect and remit ANY taxes.

2 VMS 03.10.09 at 8:02 am

Damn! I was planning on visiting all 2000 of those closed pubs.

But more seriously, I can’t see how the statisticians are able to separate, with any degree of certainty, the effect of the tax increase on pub closures as opposed to all the other forces in the economic junble. The tax may be modelled as an ‘economic anchor’ (pure added cost), and if everything else were constant and if the tax were an independent variable, it would be easy to determine its effect. But everything else is NOT constant even if the tax is a pure independent variable.

Methinks the 2000 lost pubs are due to a combination of variables, and the tax hike is but one of them. Each variable is probably claimed as the straw that broke the camel’s back.

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