MP voices fears over future of British pubs

By Robert Mann contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pledge of support: MP Gloria De Piero is calling on more to be done to save UK pubs
Pledge of support: MP Gloria De Piero is calling on more to be done to save UK pubs
An MP has voiced her concerns over the "incredibly worrying" statistic revealing the number of pubs closing down for good in the UK.

Gloria De Piero, MP for Ashfield, in Nottinghamshire, said she has received a large and "ever growing" number of emails and letters from constituents about their concerns over pubs closing.

Pub fight

With the Campaign for Real Ale revealing that 18 pubs close their doors for good each week, the Labour party politician and former ITV journalist said she will argue for measures that will enable the pub industry and its local communities to "thrive and grow".

"I was recently contacted by a local landlord, worried that his own pub would have to shut," De Piero said.

"Pubs are a wonderful part of British culture and tradition, and I would like to see this Government do more to protect them.

"An end to austerity and an economy that works for all is the best way to support pubs and local businesses."

Importance

De Piero added the importance of a working pub and how it provides employment for thousands and generates billions in tax revenues.

"In the Ashfield constituency, there are nearly 70 pubs employing more than 1,000 people," she said.

"Pubs are at the heart of our communities, and 30m adults visit them every month.

"The pub sector supports 900,000 jobs, generates £23bn in economic value and provides £13bn in tax revenues."

Hammer blow

After Chancellor Philip Hammond froze duty on beer, cider and spirits for another year – critics including De Piero – have described his decision to allow duty to continue on wine as a "hammer blow" to the industry.

"The duty was raised just last year and, together with increases in other alcohol duties, will have cost pubs around £125m," she added.

"The Chancellor has also scrapped the pub-specific relief rate, meaning that some pubs will be threatened with closure."

Fully committed 

De Piero said that she is "fully committed" to setting up a national review of local pubs as well as to giving communities more power to shape their town centres, including by strengthening powers to protect pubs.

"Of course, as well as this support of pubs themselves, people on the street need money in their pockets to spend in pubs," she added.

Recent research from YouGov found that more than half of people in Britain said that they were unable to afford to buy beer in pubs.

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