New figures show that 18 pubs are closing every week.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is calling for a new deal for pubs in response to fresh data which reveals 18 pubs are being lost each week. The consumer group says that urgent action is needed to cut the tax burden placed on pubs.
Pubs are being hit hard by a triple whammy of one of the highest rates of beer duty across Europe, rapidly rising business rates and VAT. A third of the cost of a pub pint is now made up of various taxes.
While temporary business rate relief and a beer duty freeze have been welcome, CAMRA is calling on the Government to implement a fundamental review of the tax system. Britain’s departure from the European Union provides new opportunities to support pubs, such as the potential for lower rates of tax for draught beer sold in pubs.
Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman says: “Pubs are now facing a crippling tax burden, exacerbated by the perfect storm of the last business rates revaluation and a high level of beer duty. From these new pub closure figures, it is clear that a fundamental change is needed if the British pub is to survive for future generations.
“As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, the Government has a unique opportunity to update the tax system to better support pubs, which are a bastion of British culture and at the heart of communities across the country.
“We can now look further afield for a new tax deal for the sector. This could include implementing the Australian model of having a lower rate of duty for beer sold in pubs, radically changing the business rates system, or charging a lower rate of VAT for pubs or, even better, all three.
“Millions of dedicated pub-goers are looking to the Government to act now to secure the future of the great British pub. We’re now challenging the Government to be the most pro-pub in history by seizing this opportunity.”