Things have been declining for decades. There were 67,800 pubs in Britain in 1982, and 60,100 as recently as 2002. By 2015, there were just 50,800.
Campaigners are calling for action to stop the trickle of pub closures turning into a flood. An average of 18 pubs a week are shutting down, according to research by Camra (Campaign for Real Ale), which puts much of the blame on a “triple whammy” tax burden. Rising business rates, which have also struck retailers on the high street, have combined with VAT and “one of the highest rates of beer duty across Europe” to put pub landlords under a strain they are finding it difficult to withstand, Camra says. Campaigners called for ministers to use Brexit as a chance to ease the burden.
“As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, the Government has a unique opportunity to update the tax system to better support pubs, which are a bastion of British culture and at the heart of communities across the country,” said Colin Valentine, Camra’s national chairman. We’ve heard the tax line before, notably from Wetherspoons’ Tim Martin. But is there really a problem? And how do we fix it? [ . . . ]
Read Full Story at INEWS: Why British pubs are closing, and how we can save them