It’s well known that students occasionally consume the odd tipple or two, (universities have even recently come under fire for not doing enough to curb binge drinking culture, would you believe it) but we thought with the gradual increasing of the beer duty escalator and its subsequent scrapping, student drinkers would have a worthwhile opinion on the cost of drinking in London, where the price of a pint averages around £3.60 according to pintprice.com.
I spoke to three students on journalism courses at City University (where the writers of Beer Tax Blog are based) – Henry Kirby, Sam Creighton and Rob Grant – and asked them 2 quick questions. All three live off relatively normal student budgets – a little more than it would cost to live outside of London.
Question 1: have you noticed the price of a pint increasing since George Osborne introduced the beer tax escalator, and have you noticed it drop since the escalator was scrapped?
Question 2: have you noticed any pubs closing down or opening up in your area?
Although only 3 anecdotal opinions, the results are a bit of a mixed bag. It appears that in wealthier areas of London, including Greenwich, there is potentially less evidence of pubs closing in comparison to less wealthy areas outside of London such as Hull – where Henry Kirby studied as an undergrad. Rob Grant says that in rural Reigate the picture is a bit more ambivalent – one of his locals has closed down but that’s potentially due to a rebranding more than anything else.
Either way, it demonstrates that for some students, spending a few quid on relaxing over a few pints will always be something that’s worth spending the pennies on, whether or not the beer tax escalator adds a bit extra on top.