Supermarkets, tax and pubcos to blame for pub closures


Press Release 


Issue date: 10th August


Embargoed: 00.01am 11th August


Supermarkets, tax and pubcos to blame for pub closures


Pubs are being forced out of business by cheap supermarket prices, high beer taxes and the high rents and wholesale beer prices charged by  pub owning property companies, according to a new polling report on consumer perceptions from the Campaign for Real Ale.


YouGov asked more than 2,000 Brits what they thought was leading to pubs closing - currently at a rate of 21 a week - on behalf of CAMRA.


More than four-fifths (82 per cent) said the cost of alcohol in supermarkets compared to pubs was a factor that had a fair, or great, impact on pub closures.


The taxes levied on pubs, including beer duty, VAT and business rates also had a great, or fair, impact on forcing pubs out of business according to 69 per cent of those surveyed.


Almost 78 per cent of people also blamed the high rents and wholesale beer prices charged to tenants by the pub owning property companies..


CAMRA figures released at the start of the summer showed that the rate of pub closures has slowed from 27 to 21 per week, but CAMRA Chairman Colin Valentine said the rate of closures was still "alarming and unacceptably high".


Colin added: "The survey findings highlight the issues that have driven CAMRA's campaigning for many years now.


"We've long campaigned for a fairer deal for publicans from the property companies which own their pubs and have seen recent success in the introduction of the Pubs Code and the appointment of a Pubs Code Adjudicator.


"People clearly agree with us that the level of tax charged on beer and on pubs is too high and needs to be addressed. Again, CAMRA and the beer and pub industry has seen some success in persuading the government to abolish the beer duty escalator and cut tax over the last few years, but Ministers need to go further in supporting the industry.


"Despite these campaign wins, a pint in a local is becoming an unaffordable luxury, driving people away from the safe and social environment of the pub and encouraging them instead to drink cheap alcohol in their homes.


"We'd urge the government to continue to work to address what people see as the key issues threatening pubs. We'd also urge people to continue to support their local pubs as much as possible.

Please lend your support to local campaigns to save pubs which are under threat and, of course, sign up to CAMRA to join the 180,000 members committed to reducing the numbers of pubs closing across the country."


Copy Ends

For more information please contact the CAMRA press office on 01727 337863 or email


Editor's Notes

  • CAMRA is a UK consumer organisation representing more than 180,000 individual consumers on matters relating to beer and pubs. We are an independent, voluntary organisation campaigning for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights

  • The CAMRA Pub Tracker Number figures are compiled by CGA Strategy on behalf of CAMRA and cover the period December 2015 to June 2016. Pub closure figures are net closures, taking new openings during the period into account.

  • Total pubs in December 2015 was 52,750. Total pubs in June 2016 was 52,201. Gross closures over the period was 1,270 with gross openings of 721. Net closure total was 549.

  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2040 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th -14th of July 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).


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