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UK: Beer body backs UK pubs minister

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The British Beer & Pub Association has backed the appointment of a 'minister for pubs' within the UK Government.

Current housing minister John Healey will take on special responsibility for pubs in an expanded remit.

The move was greeted as a sign that the needs of pubs, and their financial difficulties, are being taken more seriously within Government.

"We hope this means that pubs will now have a strategic place in Government policy making," said a spokesperson for the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

Up to 39 pubs are closing down every week in the UK, according to the latest BBPA figures. A cocktail of higher taxes and less expensive alcohol available in supermarkets have been blamed for falling on-trade sales.

It remains to be seen what Healey can achieve in his new role, given that the UK faces a General Election before June.

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Sectors: Beer & cider

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