Oxfordshire-based pub company Brakspear has cancelled its January beer price rise for the third year in a row, in a bid to offset the effects of a 2.5% rise in the rate of VAT.
VAT rose to 20% today, the second rise in the tax in 12 months. Brakspear said that freezing the price of its beer in all of its 145 pubs would help tenants work through the New Year "trading blues".
Chief executive Tom Davies said: "Many of our pubs face a fairly bleak start to 2011. Trade in our destination pubs was inevitably dented during December because of the snow and now we have a VAT increase adding pennies to the price of a pint, at a time when consumers can least afford it.
"Cancelling the January price rise on our beers gives our tenants some respite during this post-Christmas period, and we hope that the Budget in March will contain some signs that this Government is sympathetic to the ongoing plight of the nation's pubs."
By Neil Gerrard
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