CAMRA warns of ‘bloodbath of pub closures'

20 November 2008 by
CAMRA warns of ‘bloodbath of pub closures'

As many as 7,500 pubs will be forced to close by the end of 2012 due to a "tidal wave" of beer tax hikes, unfair supermarket competition and the economic downturn, the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) warned today.

Camra has written to the Chancellor, in advance of Monday's Pre-Budget Report, to call for:

  • A reduction in VAT in order to assist pubs
  • An investigation into the feasibility of a reduced rate of tax on beer sold in pubs
  • A minimum price per unit of alcohol to prevent alcohol being sold at a loss in the off trade

Mike Benner, Camra chief executive, said: "Action to support pubs in the Pre Budget report is essential in order to prevent a bloodbath of pub closures following the traditionally busy Christmas trading period.

"This year's increase in beer tax has forced publicans to increase beer prices, making visiting the pub less affordable for hard pressed consumers. To ensure pub going remains affordable the Government must commit to a freeze on beer tax while they consider a reduced rate of tax on beer sold in pubs."

"The Government must act now to end irresponsible alcohol price promotions that are encouraging alcohol misuse, undermining communities, ruining livelihoods and damaging peoples' social lives," he said.

Earlier this week, research firm Market & Business Development revealed that nearly 1,700 pubs will have closed during 2008, representing a 3% reduction in the year.

BHA calls for deferral of NI and VAT and return of capital allowances >>

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Industry blasts chancellor's alcohol tax rise >>

Pub trading drops by 3% in 2008 >>

Pubs close at a rate of five a day, says research >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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