British pubs are being forced to close their doors because of expensive rent, high prices enforced by landlords and cheaper options from the supermarkets, according to brand new research by the Campaign For real Ale (CAMRA).
CAMRA says that a report showed that a survey in which it spoke to 2,000 adults confirmed its belief that with beer duty and pub rents both too high, customers are being forced out of a pint at the local as it is becoming more of an unaffordable luxury.
And it gets worse – according to a BT survey into the state of the UK pub trade, more than four out of five of those adults polled said that cheaper alcohol in the supermarket plays a big part on the amount of pub closures.
An equally high number pointed to the high rents and wholesale beer prices charged to tenants by pub-owning property companies.
But despite the number of pub closures falling from 27 to 21 per week over the last year, it is still too many for CAMRA, which describes the figures as “alarming”.
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.
“Camra and the beer and pub industry has 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.”
A Treasury spokesman said: “This Government has been a cheerleader for the British pub industry and because of our action to cut beer duty and end the beer duty escalator, over 19,000 jobs in the industry and 1,000 pubs have been saved.
“A typical pint of beer is now 10 pence lower than it would have been and an estimated 75% of pubs stand to save hundreds of pounds per year as a result of the changes made to business rates.”