‘Offering a grant of just £1,000 is staggeringly and shamefully out of touch’

The Staff Canteen

Social Media users have reacted angrily to the news that wet-led pubs forced to remain closed under Tier 2 and 3 restrictions will receive a paltry one-off grant payment of £1,000.

Boris Johnson has announced that all wet pubs will be given £1,000 to help them out in what would normally have been their busiest time of the year.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, warned that 90% of venues would be unviable by the new year as a result of the tiers.

‘A one-off payment of £1,000 for pubs forced to close does not even count as a token gesture,’ she said. ‘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.’

The Prime Minister said that all pubs which do not serve food will be given the funding to ‘recognise how hard they have been hit’ by measures designed to stop the spread of coronavirus. Under looming new rules, pubs will be forced to close under tier three – which come into force when England’s lockdown ends tomorrow.

The British Beer and Pub Association has already criticised the amount of support offered. Simon Emeny, the chief executive of brewers Fuller, Smith and Turner, added that the one-off payment will not be enough to save many wet pubs. ‘A thousand pounds really doesn’t really go any way to solving the financial armageddon that many individual and independent operators are going to face,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One. ‘The challenge for wet-led pubs is if they don’t sell food they will find it impossible to operate, but you have still got bills to pay.

‘They have still got to pay potentially rent, insurance costs, national insurance and the apprenticeship levy. That is far more than £1,000.’

Taking to Twitter many people referred to the payment as an ‘insult’ and ‘the end for lots of pubs and people’s livelihoods’.

It comes as the PM looks to avoid a Conservative rebellion over his post-lockdown plan. Labour has said it will abstain on the vote. MPs are due to vote tonight on measures that would put 99% of England’s population into the tough measures of tier two and three.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st December 2020

‘Offering a grant of just £1,000 is staggeringly and shamefully out of touch’