Phil Whitehead, Western Europe Managing Director for Molson Coors Beverage Company said:
“While we welcome the roadmap for reopening hospitality from the Prime Minister and the removal of the substantial meal and curfew restrictions, for thousands of pubs up and down the country holding out until the middle of May is going to be impossible without continued financial support.
“The Government must use the forthcoming Budget to deliver the financial bridge that our sector desperately needs – extending the furlough and grants scheme, expanding the VAT reduction for hospitality to include alcohol and extending the business rates relief.
“The hospitality sector can play an incredibly powerful role in the economic recovery and the social wellbeing of the nation. Pubs and restaurants have invested millions in creating Covid-Secure environments and can provide a safe way of beginning to allow greater social interaction and help to tackle the loneliness and isolation that many are suffering. Crucially, reopening would also provide a significant boost to the more than 900,000 people in every region of the UK whose jobs are supported by the beer and pub sector, and whose livelihoods are at severe risk while hospitality is forced to remain closed or heavily restricted. When reviewing the data with a view to lifting further restrictions, the Government should consider accelerating the current timescales for re-opening if the data shows that the vaccine roll-out is continuing to have the desired impact.
“We must also acknowledge the long-term damage to our industry as a result of this pandemic and the long road to full recovery. We believe a medium to long term economic roadmap is needed to give operators the confidence and stability to plan for the future and drive economic growth. A key component of this should be the introduction of a beer duty scheme that will really provide a level playing field for British brewers and their customers, who are currently subject to duty that is 3 times the EU average and 11 times higher than in Germany or Spain.
“Publicans and all those who work in the hospitality supply chain have made enormous sacrifices to support the national effort against this pandemic. Now is the time to let them play their part in helping our communities recover.”
Press release from City Press on behalf of Molson Coors
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