The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to a study published by the ONS on the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality sector in the UK.
According to the ONS study, consumer spending on hospitality, which includes pubs, remains at less than 70% of pre-pandemic levels.
The BBPA says the findings are further evidence of just how hard the hospitality sector, including beer and pubs, have been hit by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, and that investment is now needed in the sector for growth which help build back stronger communities and more jobs.
In line with the beer and pub sector’s Long Live The Local campaign, the BBPA is urging the Government to invest in the sector through the reform of VAT, Beer Duty and Business Rates which unfairly penalise pubs.
Emma McClarkin, BBPA's Chief Executive, (pictured) said, “This ONS study is yet further evidence of just how devastating the pandemic has been for hospitality.
“The recovery of our sector has only just begun now restrictions have been lifted, but these ONS figures show far our sector has to go to return to viability.
“The numbers are clear – more investment is needed now for our sector so it can play a leading role in building society and the economy back better. The Government must do this by reforming VAT, Beer Duty and Business Rates by which pubs and other hospitality businesses are greatly overtaxed.'
McClarkin finished, “We urge those who want to see hospitality and pubs recover to support the Long Live The Local campaign and sign the petition at https://www.longlivethelocal.pub./. Investment in our sector can help the country build back better with stronger communities, more jobs and a boost to villages, towns and cities across the country.”