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So, there we have it. 5% increase across the board, except for cider with a 13% increase.

A couple of thoughts:

Why aren't more of the media reporting it like this? It seems fine for them to report 2% and 10% respectively, when it's 2 and 10% above inflation (currently at 3%).

Whilst the trade world online is full of people bemoaning the inevitable tax rises, once my initial hatred for the badger-faced idiot had calmed down I started thinking about what it actually means. Phoning a couple of suppliers, I was surprised to be told they wouldn't know the price increases straight away. I know I can work out the duty increase myself, which I'll probably do tomorrow (it'll be good practise for when the brewery opens), but I also know that some of them will be adding on further costs at the same time. In the same way I haven't increased prices at the pump with the VAT increase at the start of the year, or the brewers increases that came through in February, a couple of the local brewers haven't passed on any increases yet. So when CAMRA say that 20p could be the increase at the pump, I can well believe it.

What really worries though, is that whoever wins the General Election will have another 'budget', regardless of what they call it. And we can expect VAT to be increased, one way or another. The time-bomb taxes.

Now if we were on the continent, we'd have all the lorry drivers out by now, blocking the motorways and causing hell. But hell, we're British, and so we'll be all talk and no action. Having said that, what can we do? I've already signed at but we know the petition system well - they'll be a generic reply of some sort. I'd like to think we could organise a march, but a) I can't see it happening b) I can't see what it would actually achieve.

I imagine Monday will be the day I find out the price increases, and review the prices at the pumps. My initial thoughts are to freeze ale prices and increase others, but I'm aware that's because I'm biased towards ale. Trying to justify it, ale needs turnover to keep it's quality, and the 3 a pint mark is definitely a barrier. But little point worrying about it until I know the increases.

Anyway, time to sleep on it, I'm sure the pub will still be open tomorrow. And with Cask Ale Week on Monday, it should be a good start to the season. Just got to stay positive.