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Croydon brewers raise a glass to George Osborne after budget

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CROYDON'S brewers raised a glass to George Osborne on Wednesday – but many local drinkers washed down the news with a double measure of cynicism.

The Chancellor scrapped a scheduled 3p rise due to come in April and went even further by slashing the present rate by a penny.

Duncan Woodhead, head brewer of Selhurst's Clarence and Fredericks, said: "We are very happy with the Chancellor's decision but we need him to promise to freeze it for a good long time.

"Pubs are the lifeblood of this country and surely it is better for people to drink in community institutions than go home and et drunk on cheap booze from shops.

"We need to protect beer, which is our national drink, and the pubs we drink it in."

Elsewhere, New Addington brewers Cronx were overjoyed at the news.

Co-owner Simon Dale said: "We were watching the live coverage and actually let out a little yelp of joy.

"We were hoping the duty escalator would be abolished but the 1p cut on duty was nice gesture as well. The thought of it rising again was unimaginable.

"We had a few beers in celebration of course."

Meanwhile Wednesday's announcements have been welcomed as a move towards restoring confidence and growth for small businesses.

The measure that was particularly hailed by Jeremy Frost, chairman of the 900-strong Croydon branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), is the creation of an Employers Allowance which will mean small businesses will not have to pay National Insurance Contributions under £2,000.

He said the FSB believes this will give small firms the confidence to create thousands of new jobs in the private sector and get the economy moving.

Mr Frost added: "The National Insurance contributions cut goes beyond what we were asking for and we are pleased to see the 3p fuel duty rise due in September completely scrapped."

Croydon brewers raise a glass to George Osborne after budget


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