Industry hits out at grant support packages

Much of the pub and bar industry has reacted angrily about the amount of grant support announced.

Much of the pub and bar industry has reacted angrily about the amount of grant support announced by the government in the build-up to Christmas.

While the package reads as a substantial £1bn total, many operators are arguing that the maximum £6,000 one-off grant per venue is insufficient when totaling the cost of cancellations and empty venues over the coming weeks.

Brian Clivaz, who owns the restaurant L'Escargot, tweeted that his restaurant was losing £6,000-worth of bookings per lunch service.

Iain Hoskins, owner of Liverpool bar operator Ma Pub Group, told the BBC: "The point is that it costs me more to stay open than when we are closed and while I don't think anyone is expecting to have all lost Christmas sales reimbursed by the government, the £6,000 grant is a drop in the ocean at this time of year."

Others have pointed out that only venues with a rateable value of over £51,000 will be eligible for the full £6,000, whereas other sites could receive as little as £2,700.  

According to Unite, the hospitality union, the package could mean as little as £50 per worker for an average four-star hotel and will be insufficient to see the sector through this latest wave of the crisis.

“Workers did not create this pandemic and they must not pay the price for it in wage cuts and ultimately in losing their jobs," says Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary. "It is unacceptable that thousands of young workers face such awful uncertainty – they need to know now that they can pay their rent and that they still have a job. [The] measures do not guarantee either. It looks like we are in ‘too little too late territory’ here.”

You may also be interested in…