57 pubs close permanently a month
According to a survey by drinks lobby the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), 1,567 pubs closed permanently in 2007, equivalent to 57 a month.
Almost one third (31%) of pubs closed permanently were demolished, while 36% were converted into shops, cafes and restaurants and 33% were changed into residential use.
Camra said today that the figures justified its calls for a one pence cut in beer tax in this Wednesday's Budget. However reports this weekend have indicated that Chancellor Alistair Darling is preparing above-inflation price-rises for beer, wine and spirits.
Mike Benner, Camra's chief executive, said: "Britain's pubs provide an essential amenity for communities and a place for people to enjoy alcohol sociably in a regulated environment, yet the Government's high tax policies coupled with increasing costs are crippling them.
"We need to see action immediately to stop the number of pub closures spiralling out of control making it impossible for many people to benefit from the amenity of a local pub.
"A ‘rescue plan' for community pubs is required and we hope the Government will begin that process with a one penny tax cut on a pint of beer on Wednesday."
Last week research by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) revealed that 1,409 pubs closed during 2007, equivalent to 27 a week.
Read the full article in the Independent here >>
Tories propose high taxes on strong alcohol >>
By Christopher Walton
E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton here.