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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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Brake Supports Troubled Pubs

July 30, 2009 4:59 PM

Tom Brake has launched a national celebration of the traditional British pub. Carshalton's Railway Tavern hosted brewing industry paper 'The Publican' to celebrate the importance and charm of local inns.

But the event comes at a crisis point for pubs. New figures reveal that 24,000 jobs have been lost in the industry this year, with 52 pubs forced to close every week - one every three hours. Supermarket alcohol sales are rising steadily, while pubs are now struggling to keep out of the red, with a 3.2% fall in overall consumption in 2008.

Despite this, the government continues to press ahead with increased taxation and regulation on pints and pubs. Tom Brake MP commented on the situation:

"Pubs are part of Britain - they have a heritage spanning over a millennium, and one that is unique to our islands. They are a national icon. They are the social homes of our villages, towns and cities, and their broad appeal draws in countless tourists every year.

"But over-taxation risks dealing a fatal blow to independent pubs; small businesses that are already feeling the brunt of the recession. They need our support and our custom.

"I have launched Carshalton's 'Proud of Pubs' event as a sign of the importance of supporting Public Houses. Earlier this year, I signed a motion in Parliament to axe the tax on beer and to protect our traditional watering holes. I will continue to fight to protect local pubs."