English pub payment plan draws scorn from landlords


© Reuters. Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London


By Paul Sandle and Alistair Smout

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government will make a one-off payment of 1,000 pounds ($1,335) to pubs that cannot open due to coronavirus restrictions, but industry leaders said it will not be enough to save many establishments, a treasured part of the national heritage.

Nearly 60% of England will be under Tier 2 restrictions when a national lockdown lifts on Wednesday. Under these, pubs can only serve alcohol with a substantial meal, effectively keeping those that do not serve food in lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that pubs in England that do not serve food would receive the payment in December in recognition of the hit they will take in what is usually their busiest month.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, described the 1,000 pound payment as “the definition of small beer”. Hospitality sector leaders were also critical.

“It’s outrageous you can have a pint in a theatre, concert hall, cinema or sports ground without a substantial meal, but not the pub. It is a slap in the face of pubs and brewers,” said Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association.

“If the Government isn’t going to do this, then it must provide far greater support.”

Chairman of pub chain JD Wetherspoon Tim Martin said that with nearly all of England in Tier 2 or the tougher Tier 3, which only allows takeaway food, the system effectively closed all pubs in England.

READ  If a second stock market crash arrives in 2020, don’t waste it!

Nearly 21,000 pubs which will be under Tier 2, figures from real estate adviser Altus Group said. It did not say how many of the pubs were so-called “wet” pubs.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said that the system would make nine out of 10 hospitality businesses unviable by the new year.

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

The rules have sparked confusion over what constitutes a substantial meal, with attention focused on the status of the Scotch Egg – a delicacy consisting of an egg wrapped in meat and breadcrumbs.

After some debate over whether it was a meal, a starter or a bar snack, senior minister Michael Gove said told ITV (LON:) it was a substantial meal and said “I myself would definitely scoff a couple of Scotch Eggs if I had the chance”.

He had earlier told LBC radio that a “couple of Scotch Eggs is a starter, as far as I’m concerned”.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own rules on coronavirus restrictions. Welsh pubs will not be able to serve alcohol at all from Friday.

($1 = 0.75 pounds)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

READ  Trumps Signs Executive Orders to Lower Drug Prices; Healthcare Stocks Fall

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here