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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 1st Mar 2023 - BBPA warns 2,000 pubs facing closure as it calls on government to support sector in Budget
BBPA warns 2,000 pubs facing closure as it calls on government to support sector in Budget: The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has warned 2,000 pubs are facing last orders as it called on the government to extend a lifeline to the sector. The trade body is calling on Downing Street to use the spring Budget to show it understands the pressures the sector is facing, and deliver a plan for “sustainable growth with fair, modernised tax rates and a focus on skills and training needed to ensure pubs and breweries can thrive”. The BBPA is calling on chancellor Jeremy Hunt to freeze duty rates, implement a significant increase in the discount for draft beer sold in pubs, and introduce the previously announced reduced rate for lower-strength beer from 1 August. And ahead of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme being significantly reduced from 1 April, the BBPA said it is also continuing to highlight the “poor practice” of energy suppliers and the ongoing impact soaring energy costs is having on the industry, insisting the government holds suppliers accountable and “fixes a broken system that is penalising hospitality businesses”. The BBPA’s call comes as data from Oxford Economics estimates on-trade beer sales will decline by 9% in 2023-24. This equates to one million fewer barrels of beer sold (288 million pints) and 25,000 potential job losses in pubs and the wider industry. It also follows a new survey where 69% of respondents agreed local pubs play an important role in bringing communities together, while more than two thirds (67%) said they play an important role in creating jobs. Six in ten are concerned about an increase in loneliness if more local pubs close down, while 42% agree that closure of their local pub would devastate their community. BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “After almost three years of extremely tough trading conditions due to lockdowns, an energy crisis, supply chain disruptions and more, now is a make-or-break moment to save our locals and breweries from failure now in the years to come. We need the government to act now or risk losing something very special forever.”

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