The number of pubs going bust is rising because of tax increases on beer. That's what industry experts have told the Government, as the issue is debated in Parliament.

The Government's beer tax escalator was introduced in 2008, and means a rise of two per cent plus inflation every year. Brewers say unless it's scrapped, many more pubs will be forced to close.

In the last three years beer duty in the UK has risen by 42 per cent. The average price of a pub pint of beer is now £3.17, at least 1 pound of that is duty and VAT.

Over the last six years the volume of beer sold in pubs has dropped by 30%, and more than 7,000 pubs have closed.

The issue has now been raised at Westminster in a debate lead by the Burton and Uttoxeter MP Andrew Griffiths.