SIBA says publicans are spending their Monday in a ‘state of despair’ as they news of ‘circuit breaker’ lockdowns which could lead to some closing for good.
Mondays are popular days for making brewery orders, but many are not being made because of the uncertainty, says SIBA’s chief executive, James Calder.
“The message government are sending to the brewing sector is that despite everything we have done to make our sector safe, despite that the government’s own evidence points toward a tiny minority of transmission is coming from hospitality, that we are the still the big problem,” said James.
“We, as a sector, are being scapegoated because the government need to be seen to be doing something — without being shown the evidence and rationale used to explain the decision.
“We know from the first lockdown that you cannot simply switch on or switch off a pub or a brewery. A ‘social lockdown’ will deal a huge financial blow to hundreds, if not thousands of businesses.
“If government go down this route, they need to provide the evidence, in advance, that a shutdown of pubs and breweries will help tackle the virus. If they can, then government also need to provide a full furlough extension, business rate support, rent support, cuts to VAT on beer and reverse the planned tax changes for small breweries. Parliament should be allowed to debate any new restrictions, not simply enacted through emergency powers.”