On-trade

UK campaigners want more tax cuts

Twenty seven pubs a week closed in the UK in the second half of 2015 compared to 29 in the previous six months and particularly encouraging to the UK pub trade is the news that closures of local community pubs have fallen too, down from 26 closures a week to 20.

Pub campaigners in the UK have welcomed the fall in the net rate of pub closures there but have called on the government to cut beer tax to help reinforce the fragile recovery.

CAMRA’s Pub Tracker Number figures cover the period June to December 2015 and are compiled for CAMRA by independent research company CGA Strategy.

Last February, a CAMRA-commissioned report from the Centre of Economics and Business Research showed that both pubs and drinkers would benefit from a cut in beer tax – conclusions supported by the improving figures.

The report found that had the tax not been cut in 2014, beer would have increased by 16p a pint, more than 1,000 additional pubs would have closed, 750 million fewer pints would have been sold and 26,000 jobs would have not been created.

CAMRA is now calling on the government to continue and strengthen its support for pubs by further cutting tax to help keep beer affordable and pubs open.

More than 4,000 CAMRA members have already lobbied their MPs to call for a reduction in beer duty and the Campaign is urging as many people as possible to make their views known.

CAMRA’s Chief Executive Tim Page warned that the licensed trade’s fragile recovery could very quickly be reversed if the government fails to build on this positive development and misses the chance to support the British pub and beer industry by reducing tax again.

“The report produced by CEBR for CAMRA at the start of 2015 showed how cutting beer tax would have a great economic benefit for the country and the reduction in closure numbers is further proof that the Chancellor’s decision was a good one,” commented Tim Page, “It’s pleasing to see that our campaigning to protect community pubs is having an effect, with closure numbers reducing.

“Local pubs are vital to their communities and the wellbeing of their users as a recent report from Oxford University showed. As well as reducing tax the government can continue to support these pubs by strengthening national planning regulations and supporting local groups seeking to list pubs as Assets of Community Value.”

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