Too little, too late: Government announcement leaves pubs short-measured, insists Lib-Dem leader

Date published: 05 December 2020

The Government will make the long-suffering publicans of ‘wet’ pubs, which do not serve food, a one-off payment of £1,000 for the month of December to compensate them in part for their loss of earnings during the Covid-19 closure.

However, the news has left Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, underwhelmed.

In response, Councillor Sykes said: “This payment, though welcome, is a drop in the ocean compared to the loss of takings that publicans have suffered through the prolonged and repeated closure of their premises and the loss of trade they have suffered even when open which has been caused by all of the restrictions placed upon them.

“Even if it were a £1,000 extra a month, every month it would not really touch the sides, but that would be at least represent a regular income.

"Like a mass-produced industrial lager this leaves a nasty taste in the mouth; it has been wrung out of Government grudgingly to generate a good news story before Christmas and it may never be repeated."

There is also the question of whether it will also apply to pubs, which normally provide food, but cannot do so if located in a Tier Three area.

Councillor Sykes added: “In Oldham, we are in a Tier Three area, meaning that all pubs cannot open, so will pubs which serve food also receive this payment? 

"It is not at all clear.”

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