Pub closures blamed on supermarkets, taxes and pubcos

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

11 August 2016

Drinking a pint in a pub is becoming 'an unaffordable luxury' according the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), as it says pubs are being forced out of business by cheap supermarket prices, high rents and  wholesale beer prices.

The comments come as a new YouGov poll commissioned by CAMRA found that out of 2,000 participants, 82% said they thought the cost of alcohol in supermarkets compared to pubs was a factor that had a fair, or great impact on pub closures.

The taxes levied on pubs, including beer duty, VAT and business rates also had a great, or fair impact on forcing pubs out of business according to 69% of those surveyed. Almost 78% of people also blamed the high rents and wholesale beer prices charged to tenants by the pubcos.

CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine said: 'We’ve long campaigned for a fairer deal for publicans from the property companies which own their pubs, and have seen recent success in the introduction of the pubs code and the appointment of a pubs code adjudicator.

'People clearly agree with us that the level of tax charged on beer and on pubs is too high and needs to be addressed. Again, CAMRA and the beer and pub industry [have] seen some success in persuading the government to abolish the beer duty escalator and cut tax over the last few years, but ministers need to go further in supporting the industry.

'Despite these campaign wins, a pint in a local is becoming an unaffordable luxury, driving people away from the safe and social environment of the pub and encouraging them instead to drink cheap alcohol in their homes.

'We’d urge the government to continue to work to address what people see as the key issues threatening pubs. We’d also urge people to continue to support their local pubs as much as possible.'

The latest figures released by CAMRA at the start of summer showed that the rate of pub closures has slowed from 27 to 21 per week.

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