The 20% increase in beer tax over the last two Budgets has hindered the survival of the pub industry as a record 52 pubs are closing down in the UK every week, says the British Beer and Pub Association. David Long, chief executive of the BBPA said the government has 'continued to pile on tax and regulatory burdens' which have put extra pressure on the pub industry on top of what the economic downturn has brought. He told the Guardian: 'The last two budgets have seen a 20% increase in beer tax, which alone has added more than £6,000 to our tax bill'. The closure of 2,377 pubs over the last 12 months has cost 24,000 jobs and the BBPA reckons that the figure is likely to increase with pubs that focus on drink shutting at 51 a week and those that focus on food at one a week, in comparison to branded chain pubs opening at a rate of two a week. Long is now urging the government to pay more attention to the pub sector as 'every other sector seems to receive a sympathetic ear and taxpayer-funded handouts from the government to tide them through the downturn'. He added: 'As a first step, government should commit to not increasing the cost and complexity of running a pub, by stepping back from any more tax or red-tape increases'.