Pub sector urges a Government 'change of tack' to avoid £7.4bn hit to economy

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Pub sector urges a Government 'change of tack' to avoid £7.4bn hit to economy

Related tags: Coronavirus, Curfew, Public house, Beer

The value of the British beer and pub sector will take a £7.4bn hit, with a third of jobs lost in the industry, unless the Government changes its approach to the Coronavirus pandemic, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has warned.

A BBPA report with forecasting and analysis consultancy Oxford Economics models three scenarios on how Coronavirus could impact the sector, based on different assumptions underpinned by data and insights from surveys of pub and brewing businesses. It has concluded that the increasingly likely scenario shows that more than 290,000 jobs will be lost, a third of the 900,000 jobs the sector currently supports.

If this were to happen, the total economic output of the beer and pub sector in the UK would fall by 31%, or £7.4bn, with £3.9bn lost from the economy in wages would also be lost from the economy for good, The UK Beer and Pub Sector: Coronavirus Scenarios Report has found.

The economic modelling proves that the Government must change its tack to save the beer and pub sector and enable it to lead the economic recovery once the Coronavirus epidemic has passed, says the BBPA, which is calling for a review of the 10pm curfew at least every three weeks and remove it if it is found not to impact the spread of the virus.  

The BBPA is also asking for a specific package of support for pubs and hospitality, including an extension to the VAT cut and business rates holiday through 2021, along with a ‘significant’ cut in beer duty, lockdown grants and removal of employer contributions for hospitality businesses to the Job Support Scheme.  
 
“This new evidence shows the Government must change tack by reviewing the effectiveness of restrictive measures like the 10pm curfew and providing a far greater package of financial support to save the pub and brewing sector,” says BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin.
 
“It would be inexcusable to allow more than 290,000 sector jobs to be lost with a £7bn hit to the economy, when it could be avoided with the right Government support to help keep pubs and breweries open. Protecting these jobs - many of which are held by under 25s - will also avoid the economy being hit by the loss of £3.9bn in wages alone.
 
“It’s important to remember that outside of the current circumstances our sector is a thriving one - and when this epidemic ends it will be key to driving the economic bounce back we will desperately need. For that to happen though the Government must invest in it now to ensure its still here to play that role.”

Last week pub group Fuller’s said it would be forced to make 'at least' 10% of its 5,000-strong workforce redundant​ as a result of the Government's response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Related topics: Business

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