The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has said that UK pub closures are “making us all poorer” claiming that four out of five people in the UK have experienced a local pub closure in the last five years.
As many as 80% of British people have witnessed at least one pub close, and 21% have seen five or more close, according to new research conducted by YouGov.
This insight comes as CAMRA revealed its latest pub closures statistics, which have remained high at 18 per week. The hardest hit areas include Greater London and the East Midlands.
Figures reveal that high beer duty, rapidly rising business rates and VAT are the main causes of pub struggles. As a result, a third of the cost of a pint is now made up of various taxes.
CAMRA has called on the government to abandon any upcoming increases to the tax paid by pubs in November’s budget. Current plans will see beer duty rise by around 2p per pint, and pubs are set to lose £1,000 in business rate relief.
Pubs play an important role in the UK’s national economy, contributing £23.1bn to the UK economy annually. They also hold great value to “individuals and communities” according to CAMRA.
CAMRA national chairman Jackie Parker, said: “The latest YouGov findings, coupled with our own pub closure figures, paint a dismal picture for our pubs. As taxes continue to rise, more people are choosing to drink at home and as a consequence, pubs are closing down. It’s a vicious cycle.
“Pub closures make us all poorer by reducing overall tax revenues raised by the pub sector and weakening community life in areas where valued pubs close. Fundamental change is needed if the British pub is to survive for future generations. We are urging the government to take action to secure the future of our pubs by relieving the tax burden.”