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Tue 1st Dec 2020 - PM confirms £1,000 payment for wet-led pubs but bosses warn its ‘nowhere near enough’
PM confirms £1,000 payment for wet-led pubs and vows to work with sector but bosses warn its ‘nowhere near enough’: Prime minister Boris Johnson has confirmed a one-off £1,000 payment will be made to wet-led pubs in December and vowed to work with the hospitality sector to help it bounce back next year. But pub bosses warned the payment “was nowhere near enough” for a sector that is “on its knees”. During a debate in parliament on the new tier restrictions, Johnson announced the payment, and said: “I think everyone in this chamber shares the anguish the hospitality sector has suffered. Our pubs, hotels and restaurants are at the heart of our communities and the fabric of our society and we will do everything in our power to support the sector. We have already put in place a huge package of support, including the extension of the furlough scheme but we are going further with a one-off £1,000 payment in December to wet-led pubs. We will also work with the hospitality sector to help it bounce back next year.” British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “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. As an industry on its knees, fighting to survive, we have invested more than £500m to make our pubs covid-secure, followed all the guidance and pioneered NHS Track and Trace. These new regulations now make a mockery of the great lengths we have gone to in making our pubs safe. The government has shown a total disregard for the impact its rules and restrictions are having on our sector and the thousands of jobs and communities it supports. If the government isn’t going to do this then it must provide far greater support. A so-called Christmas bonus for drink-led, community pubs worth £1,000, on its own, is simply nowhere near enough to stave off thousands of pub closures.” British institute of Innkeeping chief executive Steve Alton said pubs need support in terms of grants and compensation for losing their “critical” December trading. He warned without this and the surety of a VAT reduction and business rates holiday throughout 2021 as they rebuild their businesses, they will simply fail. He added: “Our pubs are part of our national heritage, they matter and they deserve our support.” Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer labelled the payment as “small beer” and said the government must also rule out changing the furlough scheme in January, which is causing huge uncertainty for businesses.

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