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2nd December 2020

“Derisory and inadequate” £32.26 a day for pubs won’t save pubs or avoid hardship

The Campaign for Pubs, the national grassroots campaign group representing pubs, publicans has called the announcement today from the Prime Minister “derisory and inadequate” with it working out as a paltry £32.26 a day for pubs faced with losing the hugely important December trade. The announcement is also for non-food serving pubs only, which suggests that all the wet led pubs in Tier 2 from tomorrow that have planned to serve some food just to be able to open, will be excluded which is grossly unfair when they only are doing so as they have no choice if they want to trade.

The announcement was made from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, during the debate on the controversial new Tiered restrictions and is seen as an attempt to stave off a rebellion on the new tiers but in reality is very little help for pubs, publicans and their families.

The reality is that the level of grants available to pubs, even if they qualify for the extra £32.26 a day, doesn’t even cover fixed costs and rent and pubs, never mind the disastrous loss of December trade, for many pubs the busiest month of the year and with the revenue from December seeing many pubs through the tough winter months of January and February. Without more support, many pubs businesses will simply not survive.

The Campaign for Pubs are supporting the #SupportPubsNOW petition calling for a meaningful package of support for pubs, to stop closures and prevent hardship for many pub families and urges all who support pubs to sign it.

The petition calls on the UK Government to announce an urgent package of support for pubs including:

-Closure grants increased to (at least) £1000 a week to cover costs and allow pubs to get through this crisis until they can properly open again.
-A statutory rent code including the right to a rent review for all rented pubs, so that rent reflects the reality of the challenging trading conditions going forward, even when pubs can open plus a presumption that commercial rent will not be charged during closures.
-A business rates holiday in 2021/22.
-VAT of 5% on all pub/hospitality sales, including on all drinks, to support all pubs.

Greg Mulholland, Campaign Director for the Campaign for Pubs said:
“The reality of the Prime Minister’s announcement is that he is offering just an extra  £32.26 a day for pubs and only to pubs that don’t serve food. This is frankly derisory and does nothing to compensate pubs facing the disastrous loss of all December, Christmas and New Year’s Eve trade. It is also grossly unfair to wet led pubs that have planned reluctantly to do food just to open in Tier 2, now it seems denied this small bit of extra support despite the unfair ‘substantial meal’ rule.

“Current grants don’t even cover costs and many publicans are on the brink getting into more and more debt.  Without further support, many pubs at risk of closure and many pub families are facing hardship, so we need a meaningful package of support announcing urgently to avoid this”.

Paul Crossman, Chair of the Campaign for Pub & a licensee in York said:
“The Government’s decision to severely curtail the trade of all pubs and to specifically close wet led community pubs at this crucial time of year will have dire consequences for an industry and supply chain that is already on its knees, and the Prime Minister’s derisory offer this morning of a one-off £1000 additional  payment for closed wet led pubs will make no tangible difference to that situation. The support package on offer still falls well short of covering basic costs for the vast majority of pubs, let alone compensating them for any of the trade that is being denied them over the vital festive period.
“Unfortunately today’s seemingly rushed and ill-thought-through announcement only reinforces the impression that the Prime Minister and his advisors have no idea of the cumulative cost to our industry of their policy decisions, and that, despite the enormous contribution pubs make to the welfare of our communities, the wider economy and the public purse, they simply do not value our precious pubs enough to do what is genuinely required to preserve them for the future”.


Notes to editors

1. The Campaign for Pubs exists to provide a real voice for pubs, bringing together publicans, customers and brewers and all who value our pub culture. The Campaign for Pubs has been formed precisely due to the lack of a real voice for pubs and publicans and to campaign for the needs of pubs and publicans, not the large property companies, big brewers and pub chains.  The Campaign for Pubs campaigns for a better, freer and fairer, more sustainable pub sector as laid out in the mission statement.

2. The Campaign for Pubs website is, Twitter and Facebook are @campaignforpubs

3. Campaign for Pubs costs £25 a year to join, or £40 for a couple and members become part of a national network of those who care about pubs and their future.

4. The Campaign for Pubs is a member organisation of the British Pub Confederation (the Confederation of independent organisations representing pubs and pub campaigners) and the Campaign for Pubs will administer and support the ongoing work of the Confederation to further strengthen representation for pubs and publicans.

Press release from Campaign for Pubs

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