Pub and bar leaders have attacked the government over “smart” measures that have left them struggling to survive, as a revision of the serial system of coronavirus restrictions has brought no relief.
Senior officials JD Wetherspoon and Revolution Bars criticized policies they said were inappropriate punishment for the hospitality sector.
Speaking as his series of 67-strong bars predicted a pre-tax loss of £ 32m, Revolution Bars chief executive Rob Pitcher screamed as he urged ministers to causing hospitality businesses to close without sufficient financial support to keep them from bankruptcy.
“The UK government’s actions on wet-driven bars and late-night hospitality are less robust,” he said, expressing the industry’s widespread anger at the unfair impact on venues “led by wet ”not serving food.
“There is little evidence to justify the significant restrictions placed on it and it deliberately removes people’s sacrifices and livelihoods.
“The recent donations of £ 1,000 per pub as compensation for being absent from our most important trading period are both disappointing and shameful, and reinforce a complete lack of understanding of the costs associated with businesses in the UK. this type. [even when they are shut] or any empathy for the impact of their decisions. ”
Pitcher has closed seven spots during the pandemic. His exasperation was repeated by Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin, who has been a staunch and vocal critic of locking restrictions that have affected his 867 pubs in the UK, 70% of which are closed.
Speaking at the company’s annual meeting, Martin – who backed Boris Johnson as prime minister – renewed his conviction on the government.
“More than 800,000 jobs have been lost so far, about the same as the numbers in the cities of Manchester and Birmingham,” he said. “These job losses are expected to rise sharply in the coming months, without a radical change in government policy.
“Because government often relies on misleading information, not facts, its results are likely to be poor. The government information sources, especially Sage [Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies], where academics are most prevalent, have been flawed. ”
Wetherspoons fell to their first annual loss this year, as the pub chain counted the cost of the restrictions on socialization that have wreaked havoc across the industry.
Earlier this month, key figures in the pub industry said more than 10,000 of the 47,200 pubs in the UK could be lost for good, with the expected number of December ‘s profitability was down by as much as 90%.
The British Beer and Pub Association has said it fears 300,000 jobs could be lost in the hospitality sector without more financial support to help see the industry through the pandemic.
London was placed in stage 3 restrictions earlier in the week while a national review of the series system on Thursday offers a small pricey relief, with most areas seeing more loops or unchanged.
The Night Business Association, which represents bars and nightclubs, criticized the decision and said its members were penalizing them so that other sectors – such as retail – could trade.
Michael Kill, the association’s chief executive, said: “The government has already created a state of emergency within the night time and hospitality economy sector. Thousands of businesses and workers have supported the government ‘s public health campaign against Covid, creating safe, regulated environments for people to communicate socially.
“This financial responsibility and commitment has only been recognized in the service of bills, with unsustainable support measures to repay confidence in the sector.
“The current financial support is very unbalanced to operating costs and the current constraints pose a deliberate level of ignorance: it is a decision they are policy, without scientific basis or consideration for the most severe sectors.
“This deserves nothing less than anger and resentment from activists and businesses.”