The latest statistics from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) show that by the end of 2015, the number of pubs in the UK was at its lowest for a decade. Its figures show that 52,750 public houses were in business at the end of year, with an average of 27 closing every week for the second half of 2015. For the first half of the year, the average weekly number of pub closures was at 29. The highest rate of closure was 45 a week in 2009.
CAMRA are calling on Chancellor George Osborne to make further cuts to beer tax to help with the slow recovery of UK pubs. "The latest figures show that the work of campaigners across CAMRA, the wider pub and beer industry, and the government is taking effect and arresting the decline in the number of pubs being lost every week" CAMRA's chief executive Tim Page said. "However, it's a fragile recovery which could very quickly be reversed if the government fails to build on this positive development and misses the chance to support the British pub and beer industry by reducing tax again."
Osborne's previous cuts to the price of beer were hailed by the Centre for Economics and Business Research. The association said that had the 2014 tax cuts not been made, the cost of a pint of beer would have risen by 16p, meaning that 1,000 more pubs would have closed and 26,000 jobs wouldn't have been created.
"As well as reducing tax, the government can continue to support these pubs by strengthening national planning regulations and supporting local groups seeking to list pubs as assets of community value," said Page.