Appeal to government to save Britain’s pubs

19 Mar 2018

Campaigners are calling for a new deal for pubs in response to fresh data which reveals 18 pubs are closing each week.

The Campaign for Real Ale (known as CAMRA) says that urgent action is needed to cut the tax burden placed on pubs, which are being hit hard by 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 this "triple whammy" of taxes.

Recent research from CAMRA shows that 460 pubs closed in the second half of 2017, an average of almost 18 every week. London was the most heavily affected, with the closure of 52 pubs between July and December last year, equivalent to 1.2 per cent of all the pubs in London. Yorkshire and the Humber were the only other regions to see pubs close at the same rate.

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."

If you have any concerns or queries regarding your business, our advisers at Beavis Morgan have extensive experience of working with clients in the hospitality sector and our professionals are acknowledged experts in issues affecting pubs, bars and restaurants.

Contact Matthew Burge or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist you and your hospitality business.

Further reading: Entrepreneurs unite against business rates rise