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CAMRA calls for fairly-priced halves

CAMRA is urging licensees to charge fairly for half pints of beer after a survey discovered almost 50 per cent of licensees who overcharge are adding between six and 20p to the cost of a half.

CAMRA branches across the country responded to a request asking them to report pubs in their area which were charging more for a half pint than half the proportional cost of a pint. Of the 59 pubs reported, almost one in 10 were charging between 41p and 50p more for a half pint compared to the cost of a full pint. In some reported cases this saw pubs charge £2 for a half pint, where a pint of the same beer would cost £3. In the most extreme case one pub added 82.5p to the proportional cost of a half pint, with a half costing £2.95 and a pint costing £4.25.

CAMRA volunteers also reported back on pubs which displayed price lists – out of 28 pubs surveyed, 60 per cent did not display a price list.

Chief Campaigns Officer Jonathan Mail said: “This feedback from our branches shows how confusing it can be for drinkers. If you buy a half pint in a pub you might be expecting to pay a price broadly in line with the proportional cost of a pint, but in fact you might end up paying 50p more per half pint than you expect.

“The lack of clear information and pricing for consumers adds to this confusion and we’d call licensees to be as clear and transparent about their pricing to help consumer make an informed decision.

“CAMRA recognises that there may be a need for pubs to round up to the nearest five pence. However, the wide difference in premium added suggests that some pubs are unfairly penalizing customers trying to drink responsibly by choosing half-pint measures and in some cases obscuring this mark up by not clearly displaying prices.”

CAMRA branches half-pint pricing report results (59 responses):

Difference in proportional cost        Percentage of pubs

5p or less                    11.3%

6-10p                        26.4%

11-20p                        24.5%

21-30p                        18.9%

31-40p                        7.5%

41-50p                        9.4%

50p+                        2%