ONE in ten pubs is set to disappear from the high street over the next five years, putting 18,000 jobs at risk, according to new research.
Britain’s Beer Alliance, which represents independent locals as well as big chains, says high beer duty is putting owners at risk of calling last orders.
The industry has been suffering from a range of pressures including beer duty, business rates, VAT as well as changing leisure habits by consumers.
To help save our local pubs, their campaign has been calling on pub lovers to sign a petition and lobby the Government to cut beer duty.
Over the last three years, a total of 3,187 pubs closed in the UK, with over 289 closing in London alone.
Former Great British Bake-Off winner, Candice Brown who owns The Green Man pub in Bedfordshire, today joined the campaign.
She said: “Pubs have always played a huge part in my life.
“My parents were publicans, so I grew up in a pub, and I know first-hand the important role they play in our communities, bringing friends, family and neighbours together.”
“Now that I run my own pub, I understand the pressures that pubs across the country face.”
Beer is our most popular pub drink
Beer accounts for 7 in 10 alcoholic drinks served in pubs today and according to the Long Live the Local campaign by cutting beer duty by just 2 oer cent, approximately 1p per pint those jobs can be kept safe.
David Cunningham, programme director for Long Live the Local said: “The pub is a quintessentially British institution.
“They are the bedrock of local communities, across the nation.
“Where else can you enjoy a gig, a roast or watch a game of football?
“They are one of the few unique and truly communal places to enjoy great food, great drink and amazing atmosphere.”
Will the Government cut beer duty?
The good news is in the past the Government has frozen beer duty following industry lobbying against a rise.
A spokesperson from HM Treasury said: “We recognise the important role pubs play in our communities. That’s why we have cut or frozen beer duty at six of the last seven Budgets – which means a pint of beer is now 14p cheaper than it would have otherwise been.
“In the last decade, our decisions have saved drinkers £5bn and meant beer duty has fallen by 15 per cent in real terms. This is on top of £1bn worth of business rates reliefs we announced last year to help pubs with their bills.”
The spokesperson added up to three quarters of pubs in England could benefit from the business rates retail discount announced in the last Budget – saving them one third of their bills.
However, UK beer duty is still three times the EU average, according to Long Live the Local.
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POT OF GOLD
Around 235 pubs have vanished from UK’s communities in the six months to June.
Nearly 1,000 pubs have shut down in the past year, with thousands letting staff go to cut costs.
In the last Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a one-year tax freeze on beer, cider and spirits.
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