TEN thousand pubs are at risk of closing if the sector is hit by a £1billion tax blow, hospitality chiefs have warned.
They say one in ten boozers could go out of business if the Chancellor fails to extend business rates relief in his Autumn Statement.
Thousands of pubs are at risk of closing unless Jeremy Hunt extends business rates relief in his Autumn StatementCredit: Getty
The Sun launched the Save Our Sups campaign to protect the great British boozer
The grim alert comes as The Sun launches a Save Our Sups campaign to protect the great British boozer.
The rate of closures now means there are fewer than 100,000 pubs across the UK.
Latest figures from UK Hospitality suggest the pub sector will face a near £1billion whack if the Government does not extend current support.
Business rates relief is currently 75 per cent.
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Without it, Kate Nicholls, boss of UK Hospitality, said about ten per cent of pubs could go out of business in the new year.
She warned: “There is going to be an almighty post-Christmas hangover if business rates relief is not extended. The average pub owner will be having to find an extra £15,000 just to keep the doors open.”
Pubs have already raised the price of a pint to an average of £4.63 to cover soaring costs.
Brewers and landlords say they will have to add another 20p to a pint to meet the rates bill and any alcohol duty rise.
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Cash-strapped drinkers are already cutting back — with 124 million fewer beers sold in the past three months compared with the same period last year.
UK Hospitality reckons freezing business rates relief will save the sector £630million and spare it an inflation-linked rise costing a further £230million.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivers his statement next week.