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More than 90% of London pubs forced to increase drink prices as landlords battle rising costs

London drinkers can expect to pay upwards of £7 for a pint in some areas (PA Archive)
London drinkers can expect to pay upwards of £7 for a pint in some areas (PA Archive)

More than 90 per cent of London pubs have increased alcoholic beverage prices in the last six months as landlords battle spiralling costs, a poll revealed on Friday.

The price of a gin and tonic has soared to more than £10 in many central London bars, while customers can expect to pay upwards of £7 for a pint in some areas.

The capital’s pubs have seen a 50 per cent decline in footfall, while six in 10 report profits dropping, a survey by the UK Spirits Alliance and research firm Survation found.

Landlords are calling on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to slash alcohol duty, particularly for spirits, in next month’s Budget.

Spirits make up one third of drinks sold in bars, pubs and restaurants but have a higher rate of tax imposed on them compared with beer.

Neema Rai, the founder of London’s Tamesis Dock and Battersea Barge pubs, said: “We are home to some of the best bars and mixologists in the world but the only way to develop, sustain and grow on this success is by remaining competitive.

“The spring Budget must take in to account the huge leap of progress that the country has made across the board with its burst of independent craft breweries and distillers.

“While they have supported the beer industry, they must also support the spirit industry so that they can also have all the tools to survive and thrive.”

The Chancellor last year confirmed there would be no changes to alcohol duties until August 2024.

He reduced tax on a pint of five per cent lager from 54p to 51p, but spirit duty was frozen.

A spokesman from the UK Spirits Alliance said: “This new polling is worrying news for London hospitality businesses, as pubs and bars across the capital battle against declining footfall and rising prices.

“And it is also worrying for the distillers that make the iconic spirits that consumers enjoy in these premises.

“Pubs and bars across London find that their offering of spirits, spritzes, and cocktails are just as popular as beer.

“As such, the government must go further and cut duty across all categories of alcohol to provide support to the hospitality sector, particularly in the nation’s capital.”