UK: 2000 pubs have closed since the Chancellor increased beer tax in the 2008 budget, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).
The BBPA estimates that this has resulted in 20,000 job losses over the past year.
In addition, research by Oxford Economics examining the impact of last year’s 18 per cent leap in excise duty and the implications of the four year drinks tax escalator, forecasts that a further 75,000 jobs are at risk in the drinks industry. The two beer tax increases in 2008 alone placed an additional £520 million cost burden on the sector.
The release of these new figures comes on the same day five Government Ministers are due to face a cross examination by MPs at the UK Pubs Crisis Ministerial Summit.
Rob Hayward, chief executive of BBPA, said: “There was understandable political concern about the recent 850 job losses at Mini. The pub sector is losing nearly twice as many jobs every month. Furthermore, when a pub closes a family loses not only its livelihood, but its home.
“The beer and pub industry is not looking for a handout, just hands off any further tax or regulation increases. We are urging the Government to abandon the 2 per cent over inflation drinks’ tax escalator due to start in March and pledge no further increases in excise duty in this year’s Budget.
“We are also asking them to abandon the Mandatory Code in the Police and Crime Bill, which Government say will cost the industry an extra £300 million this year alone and lead to further job losses and pub closures.”
Early Day Motion (EDM) 10 (‘Campaign to Save the Great British Pub’), which was laid by Lib Dem MP Bob Russell, has received the support of 160 MPs from all parties including 76 Labour MPs.
Polling by Com Res released on Monday (2 March) showed that 70% of people opposed the Government’s proposals to increase beer tax above inflation in this year’s budget.