Personally, I think it pretty likely that some pubs have closed since 2006/7 due to factors related to the smoking ban. That said, it's also clear that there's a downward trend in pub numbers that's been going on for a lot longer than that. This trend has been fairly steady since before 1980.
In other news: Of late we've seen the gap between prices charged in the on and off trade widen. I suspect that a lot of this might be due to those dang supermarkets.
Anyway, here's two nice graphs on the same x-axis.
Sources: IFS analysis based on prices and earnings data from Office for National Statistics / British Beer and Pub Association / I've jammed them together
I was prompted to post this following a comment on the previous post.
I'm not claiming that correlation proves anything - and anyway, the longer-term trend looks well established before the marked on/off trade price divergence really opens up. I guess it just goes to show that it's all a bit complicated really. I suspect that reversing the smoking ban (if such a thing were possible) would make f*ck all difference going forward.
Now, minimum pricing ...
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