CAMRA’s latest press release tells us,’ (the) Majority of Britons find the price of a pint unaffordable.’
Do they? Really?
I’d best nail my colours to the mast; I broadly agree with the sentiment and I’m 100% behind the campaign to save pubs, but do people really find a pint of beer unaffordable OR do people carefully choose exactly what they do with their disposable income?
Lets deal with those with no disposable income first. No, they can’t afford a pint, nor many other things, but that is an entirely different (and important) issue and for the sake of argument, I’m going to discount this unfortunate cohort who would appear to be within the 11% surveyed who said a pint was ‘very unaffordable’.
The people I’m thinking about are the sizeable number of people who have a finite budget and competing financial demands; principally the essentials of food, shelter, clothing and essential travel. Many of these people do have ‘some’ disposable income and we can assume they are represented in the YouGov survey as the 44% who said a pint was ‘very affordable’ (2%), ‘fairly affordable’ (16%) and ‘about right’ (26%).
Although 44% of people think the price of a pint is acceptable to differing degrees, we have to remember that a similar number 45% of those surveyed, thought a pint was ‘fairly unaffordable’; presumably those with a very limited disposable income.
Across this 89% of people, I think there are many who are making the choice between going out for a pint and other things.
Simple choices like; Sunday afternoon at the local pub with the family or a full day out at the beach with sandwiches and maybe an ice cream and a few bob on the amusements. I reckon it’s about 50 miles from our house to Scarbro’, so the biggest cost of the day is fuel.
Round here, the price of the first round of say, a pint, glass of prosecco, three soft drinks and a few snacks would just about cover the fuel costs of a return journey to the seaside. The second round would more than pay for the picnic and sundries and we’ve only been in the pub for about an hour, max.
Okay, but what if you really fancy a drink? Do you meet up with your friends in the pub? Remember there’s four adults and maybe five kids or more now, so the round is easily into the £20 bracket.
I know lets have a BBQ, we’ve got to have meal anyway and the cost of the first round will buy more than enough cheap supermarket beer to keep us going all afternoon, the cost of the second round will buy 4 bottles of prosecco – sorted.
They had such a good time their friends have invited them round for the return fixture next weekend. In the meantime they are all going to the pictures with the kids on Wednesday night – couldn’t have done that if they’d blown the best part of a ton in the pub on Sunday afternoon.
Faced with a choice what would you do?