Kevin Georgel, the managing director of Admiral Taverns, has called on the Government to take a different approach on the duty escalator, which is driving alcohol consumption away from pubs. He said that if the Government continued along its current path and raised duty further in next month’s budget, then the tenanted pub company would have little choice but to pass these increases through to licensees. Similarly, Georgel said that in the event of the opposite happening and there was a lowering of duty on alcohol, then Admiral would pass any reduction through to its licensees in its entirety. He said: “We have worked extremely hard to help our licensees keep prices down for their customers, and we would urge George Osborne to do the same. “It does not make any sense for the Chancellor to keep the above-inflation duty escalator in place, given that it actually serves to reduce the tax take from alcohol. It is a tax on pubs and has driven the acceleration of the gap in alcohol pricing between the on-trade and off-trade. It is driving alcohol consumption away from the pub and it is time for a different approach.” Yesterday, the 1,200-strong pub company announced that it would be freezing prices across many of its draught beers, and will increase prices on other draught beers by an average of 3.4%.