UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has said that the dialogue on financial support must continue for pubs and other wet-led businesses that remain closed and excluded from the chancellor's latest financial package.
Speaking on LBC radio on Wednesday evening, Nicholls said that although the VAT cut was a "huge lifeline" for the bulk of the industry, many of the UK's wet-led and community local pubs, night-time economy businesses, music venues and nightclubs, which remain closed and unable to trade, would be excluded from the benefits.
Nicholls said: "It's about making sure we can carry the rest of the industry with us and continue the dialogue ahead of the autumn statement with the chancellor, to get the support that the small community and grassroots venues need to keep alive."
CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) expressed concern about the latest package of support. Tom Stainer, chief executive of CAMRA, said while a six-month cut in VAT for food served in pubs and the ‘Eat Out to Help Out' voucher scheme in August was welcomed, the association was concerned that pubs have been ‘left behind' by the chancellor's statement, which contained little support for community pubs.
He added: "It is also disappointing to see no direct support for independent brewers and producers, who will not benefit from a VAT cut that specifically excludes beer and cider."
Stainer has called for "long-term support measures", including business rate reform and a tax reduction for draught beer, which he said would "encourage people back to the supervised setting of the community pub".
He said: "Lockdown has shown just how valuable our pubs are to local communities and the pivotal role they play in tackling loneliness and social isolation. It is absolutely right that they receive extra support during the difficult months ahead to ensure their continued survival."