Rising beer prices are turning pubs into an 'unaffordable luxury'

A campaign group warns pubs could close unless the Government cuts business rates

Alan Jones
Friday 29 September 2017 00:12
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More than a third of the price of a pint is now taken up by taxes
More than a third of the price of a pint is now taken up by taxes

Going to a pub is becoming an “unaffordable luxury” as increasing numbers of drinkers believe the price of a pint is too expensive, according to a new report.

A survey of 1,000 beer drinkers by the Campaign for Real Ale found that just 15 per cent believed prices were affordable. The campaign group warned that thousands of pubs could close, or beer prices increase further, unless the Government takes action to cut business rates.

The rising price of beer in pubs means people are increasingly drinking at home, said Camra.

“The British pub is unique, and has been rooted in Britain’s history for hundreds of years,” said chairman Colin Valentine. “All the evidence shows that drinking alcohol in moderation in the company of others is good for people’s wellbeing, yet the opportunity to get together and enjoy a beer is being taken away from swathes of people on lower and middle incomes, who are increasingly viewing a pub pint as an unaffordable luxury.”

“Many landlords are in a tricky situation in that they are forced to either raise their prices or close their doors for ever. It is the people on lower incomes who will be hit the hardest, and will then choose to drink at home. In addition, thousands of local pubs are at risk of closure, bringing devastating consequences for their local communities”, he added.

Mr Valentine said Chancellor Philip Hammond should take “urgent action” in his November Budget to help pubs. Camra said pubs pay nearly £140,000 in taxes each year on average, while around 37 per cent of the total cost of a pint is now made up of taxes.

PA

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