A record 39 pubs a week closed in the UK over the last six months of 2008, figures revealed today.
The figure, compiled by CGA Strategy for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), is up on the 36 a week (five a day) that closed in the first half of 2008.
It means that, in total, 1,973 pubs closed their doors for the last time in 2008, 40% higher than the 1,409 closures reported by the BBPA in 2007.
The Midlands saw the highest daily rate of closure, with eight pubs closing every day whilst Wales and the West was the hardest hit region by the latest closures, losing 2.4% of its pubs in the last six months of 2008.
The BBPA warned that, unless the Government pulls back from further alcohol tax increases and legislation - such as the mandatory code on the sale and promotion of alcohol - then pub closures and job losses will escalate further.
Rob Hayward, chief executive of the BBPA, said: "These stark new numbers show how wrong the Government was in not offering the pub trade a stimulus in the Pre-Budget Report along with every other part of the UK economy.
"They also show how much Government thinking on alcohol taxes and regulation must change if community pubs are to be saved for future generations."
"The Government's plans to increase alcohol duty by 40% over the next four years must be looked at again. It must drop plans for a duty escalator and recognise the damage it will do to communities, to business, to jobs and to the taxpayer," he added.
By Daniel Thomas
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