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Pubs bank on brisk St George's Day trade

Published:  23 April, 2009

Pubs across the country are preparing for a brisk trade as events get underway to celebrate St George's Day.

Landlords will be seeking to rally today after yesterday's alcohol duty blow which saw a further 2% slapped on beer,wine and spirits in the 2009 Budget. The rise takes effect at opening time today.

The Alvanley Arms Inn, on the outskirts of Norwich, will be pulling out all the stops to honour England's patron saint.

The 400-year-old pub will be festooned with red and white flags, bunting and English red roses. Guests who exclaim 'By George' from noon to 3pm will receive a free pint of traditional cask ale.
Events are planned in pubs across the country.

The day of celebration for the saint comes just a day after the pub trades' largest representative organisation warned that the latest duty hike unveiled by Chancellor Alistair Darling could sound the death knell for thousands more British pubs.

A spokesperson for the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) warned: "Today's Budget signs the death warrant for thousands of Britain's pubs and for tens of thousands of British jobs.
"Pubs play a vital role in the economy and in local communities. Yet six are closing every day and more than 2,000 have gone in the last 12 months alone. The Chancellor's unfair and unjustified announcement today condemns thousands more to shut for good."