The prospect of a rise in tax on alcohol has split Cardiff, with the city's landlords despairing at the potential rise in prices while health groups claim it will benefit the population.
Recent reports have indicated the duty could rise two per cent above the rate of inflation when the Chancellor announces the Budget tomorrow. This could add 10p to the price of a pint of beer.
The Campaign for Real Ale group have revealed beer duty has risen 28 per cent since 2008 and that Britain has the highest rate of excise duty on beer in Europe.
The British Beer and Pub Association has indicated scrapping the duty escalator could save more than 10,000 jobs in the UK.
Michelle Francis, the manager of the Cricketers pub, Riverside, said: "I hope it isn't going to go up too much, particularly given we recently had a VAT rise."
A few landlords expressed concern they would not be able to get away with passing the rise on to their customers, meaning the duty rise would eat into their profits.
Richard Lewis, manager of Y Mochyn Du said: "We have got to the point where we cannot possibly raise our prices any more. We would just have to take the hit."
Scott Waddington, chief executive of SA Brain & Co Ltd said: "I have written to all Welsh MPs highlighting the importance of the beer and pub sector to the Welsh economy. I urge the Government to think twice about implementing this in the forthcoming Budget."
A spokesperson for the Tax Payers Alliance said: "You have to address the root causes, and the social causes of these problems, that's through education- not through more punitive taxes."
But Andrew Misell, manager of Alcohol Concern Cymru said: "All of us as tax payers pay the price for cheap alcohol and all evidence suggests prices determine how much we drink. We must use the tax system to fund alcohol treatment," he said.
According to Assembly Government figures, alcohol-related diseases and injuries cost the health service in Wales between £70m and £85m a year. Figures obtained by Alcohol Concern Cymru said 30,000 hospital bed days in the country were taken up as a result of alcohol misuse and there were around 1,000 deaths accounted for by alcohol in Wales each year.
South Wales Police also say alcohol forms a major part of their working week. A spokesperson said: " By far the biggest volume of calls we get in Cardiff during the evening are about alcohol related crime and disorder."