Lincoln’s independent pub scene is grappling with a challenging conundrum. Despite the government’s move to freeze alcohol duties until August 2024, as part of a sweeping reform of alcohol taxation announced in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement, local pub owners are far from relieved. They’re sceptical that this freeze will do much to ease their financial burdens, given the backdrop of escalating costs.
Adding to their woes, the government has also revealed a substantial hike in the National Living Wage, set to jump by a hefty 9.8% to £11.44 per hour from April next year. This increase represents the largest ever in cash terms for the minimum wage.