Beer is the news … cheers as drinkers demand Chancellor saves our pubs

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Britain’s pubs are closing at the incredible rate of 23 a week as business rates rise an average of19 per cent.

The revelations come as a poll says most people believe the local is the hub of their community. And most of them want the Government to cap the cost of beer and cut taxes for what’s left of the UK’s boozers.

78 per cent of people think pubs are an important part of where they live. And 43 per cent think reducing business rates is the best way to help pubs survive.

Nearly 900,000 jobs depend on the brewing and pubs sector.

In his last Budget, Philip Hammond set up a £300million emergency kitty for councils to hand out discretionary relief to the worst-hit pubs, shops and cafes. It has helped cap the charge at £600 a year for 16,000 businesses facing bills for the first time.

Beer tax has been cut for three years yet pubs sold 35million fewer pints between July and September.

Now fifty MPs have written to the Chancellor urging him to slash the massive tax burden.

The MPs have called on Philip Hammond to freeze beer duty for the rest of this parliament and introduce an annual £5,000 business rate relief for pubs as part of the ‘Keep Pubs Afloat’ campaign.

Tim Page, chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: “Pubs play a hugely important role in our social lives and the cohesion of their local communities. They act as a common meeting ground for friends, family and colleagues alike, helping to bring people from all walks of life together. In many areas they are the last remaining public meeting space, with so many libraries and meeting halls already lost,” said .

“Yet pubs cannot continue to shoulder such a massive tax burden and ultimately it is the consumer that is affected when the price of a pint goes up. We need the Treasury to act now by delivering a Budget for Britain’s pubs.”

Brigid Simmonds, of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “This poll shows there is huge public support for action to help brewers and pubs in the Budget.

“The public understands the vital role pubs play in all our communities, The government needs to take action – starting in the Budget next week.”

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