All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group

From Powerbase
Revision as of 16:22, 11 May 2016 by Richard Bew (talk | contribs) (2016)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Alcohol badge.jpg This article is part of the Spinwatch public health oriented Alcohol Portal project.

The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, formed as the Parliamentary Beer Club in 1993, promotes understanding among Parliamentarians of the UK's beer and pubs industries. Over 300 MPS and Peers of all parties are members. Around 60 UK MEPs are honorary members. The Group is supported by 50 individual brewing and licensed retailing companies, as affiliated corporate members. An officially registered all-party parliamentary group, it is the largest industry group at Westminster.[1]

Aims

The aim of this group is: "to promote the wholesomeness and enjoyment of beer and the unique role of the pub in UK society; to increase understanding of the social, cultural and historic role of brewing and pubs in the UK, and their value to tourism; to broaden recognition of the contribution of brewing and pubs to employment and to the UK economy; to promote understanding of the social responsibility exercised by the brewing and pub industries; to support the UK's brewing industry worldwide, and to promote a positive future for beer and the pub" [2]

Supporting the drinks industry against the supermarkets

The leader of the group, MP John Grogan, joined S&N and CAMRA in condemning supermarkets for using beer as a loss leader in order to lure customers into their stores. Supermarkets are criticised for selling alcohol so cheaply that other shops simply can't compete. Campaigners, including the drinks industry and MPs, have branded the pricing structure irresponsible. CAMRA are concerned that the supermarkets are contributing to the waning popularity of British beer in a letter to the Competition Commission. They are also urging individuals to lobby their MP to sign Early Day Motion 495 tabled by John Grogan.[3]

Twenty-pound-notes.jpg This article is part of the Lobbying Portal, a sunlight project from Spinwatch.

Early Day Motion 495 (tabled on January 2, 2007) was drafted by The Publican newspaper and states: “That this House believes that the substantial price differential between alcohol sold in pubs and that sold in the off-trade is exacerbating the problem of binge drinking; continues to support the pub trade's efforts to curb irresponsible drinking and promotions; and urges supermarkets and off-licences to follow the example of pubs and act to end irresponsible drinks promotions and agree not to use alcohol as a loss leader on their premises.” A total of 194 MPs signed.[4]

A survey by CAMRA revealed that in some supermarkets Fosters and Carling was available for the equivalent of just 54p a pint - or 16p before tax. CAMRA, members of parliament, trade press and pub industry chiefs are calling for urgent action to prevent promotions that serve to exacerbate the problem of binge drinking.[5] [6]

In a memorandum from the Beer Group to the Treasury select committee the following positions were taken by the group (October 2000):

  • The group is not convinced that the legal drinking age needs to be as high as 18 years old in the UK, the government should research lowering the legal drinking age. Although they do conclude (as did the Home Office) that the main obstacle to lowering the age limit is that it may be "politically difficult".
  • Smuggling could be eliminated by cutting the tax duty paid on alcohol. A clamp down on smuggling would also free up police and customs officers to focus on more important tasks and end the social problems associated with smuggling for example sales to children.
  • Increasing beer duty would reduce consumption which would mean less tax would be generated, unemployment would rise and benefit payments would increase.[7]

MPs Behind the Bar

Lincoln MP with Bar Staff[8]

The current chairman of the group Andrew Griffiths has persuaded MPs to work as bartenders for a shift in order to promote understanding of the issues the on trade currently faces. Karl McCartney MP for Lincoln is pictured with staff from The Cloud bar in Lincoln after completing his "shift". McCartney said: “Working the shift gave me the opportunity to talk to Michael Kheng, owner of the Cloud Bar, and his staff and customers about their concerns for the future of the industry. It is clear that tackling unnecessary and burdensome red tape, or bureaucracy, must be a priority for the Government. The Great British pub is at the heart of communities and, as MP for Lincoln, I will do my best to ensure it remains the case in our city and surrounding areas.” [9] Community Pubs Minister Bob Neill is also reported to be taking part in the campaign [10] Sheryll Murray MP, who represents South East Cornwall and vice-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group Nigel Adams MP also took part. [11]

People

MP Officers

February - April 2016

2015

2010

2007

Benefits received from groups outside Parliament

Compiled in 2016 from the Register of All-Party Groups, UK Parliament

Compiled in 2015 from the Register of All-Party Groups, UK Parliament

Compiled in 2010 from the Register of All-Party Groups, UK Parliament

Compiled in 2007 from the Register of All-Party Groups, UK Parliament

References

  1. House of Commons Publications Memorandum from the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group to the Select Committee on Treasury Last accessed December 3rd 2007
  2. The Stationary Office House of Commons Register of All-party Groups Accessed April 2007
  3. Action Needed as Supermarkets Sell Lager for Just Pennies More than Water, CAMRA, 8 Jan 07, accessed 23 Mar 2010
  4. EDM 495 PRICE OF ALCOHOL IN SUPERMARKETS AND OFF-LICENCES 13.12.2006, Early Day Motions, UK Parliament website, accessed 23 March 2010
  5. CAMRA Web Site 8/01/07 Action Needed as Supermarkets Sell Lager for Just Pennies More than Water Accessed April 2007
  6. Beer Today 07/01/01 Supermarket lager 'cheaper than water' Last accessed April 2007
  7. House of Commons Publications Memorandum from the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group to the Select Committee on Treasury Last accessed December 3rd 2007
  8. Morning Advertiser 15th September 2011 Lincoln MP gets behind bar accessed 15th September 2011
  9. Morning Advertiser 15th September 2011 Lincoln MP gets behind bar accessed 15th September 2011
  10. The Morning Advertiser 12th August 2011 Pubs minister pledges to work behind bar accessed 15th September 2011
  11. The Morning Advertiser 8th September 2011 MPs pledge to work bar shifts accessed 15th September 2011
  12. Beer APPG Register Feb 16, www.parliament.uk, accessed 18 February 2016
  13. Beer APPG, Register 28 April 2016, parliament.uk, accessed 11 May 2016
  14. Register Of All-Party Groups (as at 30 March 2015) www.parliament.uk, accessed 7 April 2015
  15. Beer APPG Register Feb 16, www.parliament.uk, accessed 18 February 2016
  16. Beer APPG,www.parliament.uk, accessed 26 November 2015
  17. All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, "House of Commons Register for the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group", May 2009, accessed on 13 April 2010: