Daisy Cooper MP is urging the Government to give tax support to pubs to save them from closure.

The St Albans MP spoke during a parliamentary debate on the taxation of beers and pubs.

She said a number of businesses in the districts including pubs fear they may not survive the coming financial year due to huge increases in business rates.

She said the Government must raise the cap on business rates relief and there should be "wholesale reform of the business rates system".

Debating the issue ahead of next month's budget, she added: "This Government has seven weeks to save them."

She highlighted several historic pubs in St Albans including The Boot, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks and the Cock who helping bring tourists to the town centres.

She said The Boot has seen its rateable value increase by 281 per cent needing to sell an extra 22,000 pints of beer a year to cover the increase.

According to Mrs Cooper, The Rose and Crown and The Six Bells, both in St Michael's village, are of similar size and only a minute's walk apart but one has a rateable value £43,250 higher than the other.

She added: "In St Albans, more than 30 per cent of our pubs have rateable values greater than £51,000 meaning they are ineligible for the business rate relief announced in the Queen's speech.

"I would urge the Minister to look again at this cap as an immediate measure extend the business rate relief beyond the £51,000 cap for pubs.

"We all know the business rates system is broken.

"We all know it punishes property-based businesses as well as those successful licensees who increase their turnover.

"The implication is that our landmark pubs are most at threat. The Government has got to get a grip.

"It has been dragging its heel for years and years."