RTTNews - Pubs in the U.K. closed at a rate of 52 per week in the first half of the year, a report from the the British Beer and Pub Association showed Wednesday. That compares to 39 pubs closed in the second half of 2008.

A total of 2,377 pubs were closed in last 12 months, costing 24,000 jobs, the association said. In the last three years, a total of 5,134 pubs have closed. There are now 53,466 pubs in Britain, down from 58,600 in the year before the Licensing Act came into force.

The recession is proving extremely tough for Britain's pubs, said the association's chief executive David Long.

The BBPA figures show pub closure is reducing government tax revenues. The industry's total tax bill now stands at GBP 6.1 billion a year. Every pub contributes GBP 107,000 in tax a year - 30% of turnover. Pub closures over the last year have therefore cost the government more than GBP 254 million in lost taxes - a loss that is increasing by more than GBP 5.5 million a week.

Job losses in the sector are also costing the government an additional GBP 1.53 million a week in job seekers allowance.

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