Economy will lose £7billion as 11,000 pubs close due to Covid rules

Economy will lose £7billion as 11,000 pubs close due to Covid rules says survey as Boris Johnson faces fresh backbench rebellion over ‘nanny state’ 10pm curfew

  • New report estimates a quarter of all pubs will be forced to permanently shut 
  • The closures would put 290,000 jobs at risk and would cost economy £7 billion 
  • Comes as Boris Johnson faces a backbench rebellion over the 10pm curfew 

The economy will lose £7 billion and a quarter of all pubs will have to close for good because of the coronavirus restriction, it has been claimed. 

A study estimated that 11,750 pubs will be forced to shut permanently, putting 290,000 jobs at risk. 

The prediction will pile more pressure on the government with Boris Johnson facing a fresh rebellion from backbenchers over the 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants. 

The government has been accused of running a ‘nanny state’ with Philip Davies, the MP for Shipley, saying that the curfew was doing untold damage to businesses and prompting ‘jobs to be lost, all just to see people congregating on the streets again’.

The MP asked health secretary Matt Hancock in the Commons: ‘When will the Secretary of State act like a Conservative and stop this arbitrary nanny state socialist approach, which is serving no purpose at all apart from to further collapse the economy and erode our freedoms?’ 

Now the survey, carried out by Oxford Economics, has found that 78 per cent of pubs are operating at under three quarter capacity, leading to calls from the industry for more support from the government.  

A study estimated that 11,750 bars will be forced to shut permanently, putting 290,000 jobs at risk

The government has been accused of running a ‘nanny state’ with Philip Davies, the MP for Shipley, saying that the curfew was doing untold damage to businesses

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association told the Times: ‘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 need. For that to happen though the government must invest in it now to ensure it’s still here to play that role.’

The shocking report says that hospitality sector employment could fall by a third as beer sales slump by 15 per cent – leading to a £7 billion cost for the economy. 

However, the figures could be even worse, with the calculations carried out before the impact of the 10pm curfew could properly be factored in.  

Ms McClarkin has now written to ministers urging for an extension of the VAT cut and business rates holiday for hospitality, due to expire in March, as well as a cut in beer duty.

The report will lead to more pressure on the government, with a backbench rebellion festering. 

Responding to Mr Davies’ furious words yesterday, Matt Hancock said ‘hundreds of thousands of deaths that would follow is not price to pay’ for his colleague’s preferred option of ‘just letting it rip’.

He added: ‘I do believe in individual responsibility and the promotion of freedom – subject to not harming others.’

The shocking report says that hospitality sector employment could fall by a third as beer sales slump by 15 per cent – leading to a £7 billion cost for the economy

During the same debate Sir Desmond Swayne slammed the curfew as being ‘rather unfair given [New Forest’s] very low infection rate and restauranteurs and landlords have invested a great deal in Covid-secure measures and reduced capacity’.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also called for the Government to consider whether the 10pm curfew should remain in place.

Sir Keir said: ‘We are supporting the package the Government has put in. But I think [Greater Manchester Mayor]Andy Burnham in particular has questioned whether the 10pm curfew is working as intended.

‘He has pointed, understandably, to lots of people coming out of venues at the same time.

‘I suggest it might be a good idea for the Government to reflect on what Andy Burnham is saying and ask themselves the question whether that should stay in place.’

Source: Read Full Article