Banned for raising beer tax

March 28, 2008 5:20:24 AM PDT
An Internet campaign to ban Britain's Treasury chief from the nation's pubs has struck a chord with the country's harried drinkers.

Earlier this month, Alistair Darling, the chancellor of the exchequer, raised taxes on cars and cigarettes, but it is his new alcohol duties - which raised the price of a pint of beer - that raised Britons' hackles.

So when a pub landlord in Darling's home town of Edinburgh barred the chancellor from his establishment, drinking holes across the country followed suit, posting pictures of the white-haired, bespectacled treasurer above the big red word "barred."

The government has raised taxes on alcohol by an extra 8 cents for a pint of beer, 26 cents for a bottle of wine and $1.10 a bottle for spirits, such as whisky.

The duties are scheduled to rise by another 2 percent above inflation in each of the next four years.

Bar manger Andrew Little at the Utopia pub, which kicked off the campaign, told The Associated Press the poster was put up "tongue-in-cheek," but the sentiment snowballed.

"It looks like we've touched a nerve," Little said.

Hundreds have joined Internet groups devoted to running Darling out of the country's pubs, and establishments from the Tap And Spile in the north England town of Lincoln to the Plough Inn in Finstock, near Oxford, said Darling would not allowed to partake of their booze.


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