Public Houses: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 3rd September 2020.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government took to support the pub industry during the covid-19 lockdown; and what steps he is taking to support the pub industry as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to provide financial support to wet-led pubs as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary

The pub industry continues to have access to a range of government support measures including, but not limited to:

A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England, saving around 350,000 ratepayers a combined £10bn.

•A VAT deferral for up to 12 months

•Measures to make it easier to claim back duty on spoiled beer, wine and cider.

•A business grant worth £10,000 or £25,000 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors

•The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which has supported 1.4 million jobs across the hospitality sector and which runs until October

•Access to affordable, government backed finance through Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBLS) for and larger firms, along with the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises.

•Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until September 30, 2020

In addition to this unprecedented package of support for businesses, the Summer Economic Update announced a VAT rate reduction from 20% to 5% - worth £4.1bn – for hospitality, accommodation and attractions, and the £500m Eat Out to Help Out scheme which entitles every diner to a 50% discount of up to £10 per head on their meal, at any participating restaurant, café or pub to encourage people to return to eating out and to support the sector’s recovery. This move will support up to 129,000 businesses, including the majority of pubs that serve food. Over 85% of pubs serve food and will benefit from both schemes. All pubs, including wet-led pubs will also benefit from the proposed regulatory easements in the Business and Planning Bill, which will make it easier, quicker and cheaper to set up furniture in adjacent outdoor spaces and to automatically convert all current licenses to allow pubs to sell off-licence.

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