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Gloucestershire Business News

Pubs face closure despite "insult" payment

The Government's announcement of a £1,000 payment to pubs has been dismisses as "an insult" and not even a token gesture by leading trade bodies amid warnings 80 per cent face closure.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced pubs which concentrate on drink will receive the one-off payment to help them through Christmas as England's new coronavirus tier restrictions come into operation.

But the British Beer & Pub Association said it does not come close to covering costs and without an increase in £3,000 monthly grants, 30,000 pubs in England face closing their doors for good.

Chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "£1,000 on its own is a meagre amount for pubs to cover nine weeks of costs, let alone compensate them for the huge loss of business over the festive period.

"It is quite frankly, an insult to thousands of pubs across the UK that are on their knees."

She continued: "It barely touches the sides of what pubs up and down the country require to cover their costs and ensure they survive.

"Nor does it recognise the inherent danger they are in heading into the next year without more support should the tighter tier system remain unchanged."

She said pubs will lose an average of £47,000 in revenue with restrictions set to limit pub operations until well into next year.

UKHospitality also said the £1,000 fell short of what was required and called for a replacement of the Job Retention Bonus, an extension to rent debt moratoria and compensation for loss of business.

The trade body also called for an extension of the VAT cut for pubs and a business rates holiday for 2021.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "A one-off payment of £1,000 for pubs forced to close does not even count as a token gesture.

"Equivalent to just 1.1 per cent of last year's takings, it falls far short of the bare minimum required to keep these businesses alive.

"The Government's new tier system condemns nine out of 10 hospitality businesses to being unviable by the new year."

She continued: "This is not just a threat to community wet-led pubs, but also neighbourhood restaurants independent hotels, nightclubs and other hospitality venues who are now staring failure in the face.

"The Prime Minister himself said that he was asking hospitality to bear a disproportionate burden to allow the reopening of all other parts of the economy and pay for our festive bubbles but the compensation is derisory."

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