Government taxes and red tape are damaging the UK’s pub sector as it grapples with one of its most severe periods of economic pressure on record, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) warned today.
A new BBPA report, A Wake up For Westminster, highlights the fact that pub beer sales have sunk to the lowest level since the Great Depression of the 1930s and that pub closures at five a day have reached unprecedented levels.
It warns that Government policies on tax and regulation have “severely restricted business flexibility” and are hampering the sector’s ability to respond to economic change.
The BBPA is calling for the Government to abandon its plans for a beer tax escalator, as well as plans for new, mandatory codes of practice on how alcohol should be sold.
It is urging the Government to focus on enforcing the existing rigorous laws, rather than create new ones.
Rob Hayward, BBPA chief executive, said: “Beer is a great national industry, and pubs play a vital role in community cohesion and social life in Britain. They are frequently one of the few remaining places where communities come together to socialise.
“The Government should abandon its plans for more punitive tax rises on beer, and should concentrate on enforcing existing laws rather than introduce new ones.
“We need action to support the Great British Pub as a vital part of local community life in Britain. If we don’t have a change of approach, many more communities will be without their much-loved pubs.”
By Daniel Thomas
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