More than 40,000 pub and brewing jobs will be axed in the next five years according to a new report published today.
The British Beer & Pub Association's (BBPA) A Wake up For Westminster study states that 43,000 people working in the brewing and pub industry will lose their jobs. That figure is on top of the 44,000 that have already been lost in the last five years.
The report also highlights that pub beer sales have sunk to their lowest since the 1930s and that pub closures have reached unprecedented levels at five a day.
It also slams plans to increase beer taxes by a third over the next four years and to introduce a raft of extra red tape, such as a new mandatory code of practice.
BBPA chief executive Rob Hayward said: "The economy is shrinking, drinking trends are shifting and overall consumption is sinking. Now is not the time for the government to be introducing policies that will force up prices for all.
"When it comes to alcohol misuse, targeting the problem few, rather than penalising all adults would be far more effective and avoid driving more pubs out of business.
"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."
The report also revealed that beer sales are down eight million pints a day since 1979 but that pint for pint, beer sales in pubs and clubs create 18 jobs for every three jobs created by sales in supermarkets and off-licences.
Hayward added: "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."