The scope of the scheme, which was first proposed by Society of Independent Brewers as far back as 1980 to protect small brewers against the power of big pub companies, will be considered during the coming year and is likely to be introduced in 2002
Peter Haydon, general secretary of the SIB, told the Times it was heartening to learn that his organisations efforts were finally being heard.
He added the efforts of small brewers represented the ideals of competition, innovation and entrepeneurship, three element highlighted in the chancellor’s Budget.
And alcohol drinkers were also left better off in real terms, after the chancellor announced that he would freeze excise duties on all beer, spirits and wine. Duty on spirits is now 36% lower in real terms than 20 years ago, according to the government.
Smokers have also been hit less hard than usual, as they will only have to contend with an inflationary rise in cigarette and tobacco prices, which translates into a 6p rise on a box of 20 cigarettes.