1. ITV Report

'Urgent action needed' as falling beer sales hurt pubs

Credit: PA

Pubs in Britain will continue to close if beer sales continue to fall, an industry body has warned.

Figures show sales of beer in the UK's pubs, bars and restaurants have fallen by the biggest margin for five years.

The British Beer and Pub Association said around 35 million fewer pints were sold in the three months to September compared with the same quarter last year - a fall of 3.6%.

The organisation warned pubs will continue to close if the trend continues, blaming "sky high" business rates.

It has called for "urgent action" from Chancellor Philip Hammond in his budget later this month.

When the Government was cutting or freezing beer duty from 2013-15, sales of British beer stabilised, after years of steep decline.

With sales down this quarter, following the Budget tax hike, urgent action from the Chancellor is needed.

Beer has had a 39% tax rise in the past decade. With tax rates 14 times higher than in Germany, these levels are unsustainable.

We need fair taxes for British beer, so that brewers and pub operators can invest in thriving pubs, and take advantage of new opportunities to export more beer around the world as we leave the EU.

– Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association