Action needed now to save Scottish pubs
Login here to listen to the audio description
CAMRA has called for Scottish ministers to come up with an action plan to save the nation’s pubs which are closing at a faster rate than anywhere else in the UK.
The call comes in the wake of the Scottish government’s decision to increase the minimum unit price for alcohol to 65p from 30 September.
While CAMRA believes policies like minimum unit pricing (MUP) can encourage people to drink in the regulated setting of the pub instead of consuming cheaper supermarket alcohol at home, it is not enough on its own.
CAMRA’s Scotland director Stuart McMahon (pictured) said: “Our pubs and social clubs are a vital part of our social fabric, bringing people together and helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation. But too many are being forced to close due to crippling costs.
“Sadly, the Scottish government doesn’t seem to understand the importance of protecting our pubs as community meeting places and as a safe, regulated place to enjoy a pint with friends and family, with all the wellbeing benefits that go with it. Once our pubs have closed, or converted into flats or shops, or demolished, it is too late to get them back for the communities they once served.
“That’s why we are calling on the Scottish government to bring forward an action plan to protect and promote pubs as a force for good in our society and to recognise the mental health and wellbeing benefits of drinking responsibly in your local.
“CAMRA urgently wants to see a rethink on help for pubs with business rates, the closing of loopholes in the planning system that allow pubs to be demolished without planning permission and a commitment not to cripple valued pubs and independent breweries by bringing back draconian measures to ban alcohol advertising and sponsorship.”