Pubs in Wales are getting a whopping FOUR times more cash than those in Scotland to help stop their businesses going to the wall over Christmas and The Scottish Beer & Pub Association is demanding that the Scottish Government at least match this.
The average pub in Scotland will get a paltry £2,700 for the six-week Christmas period, but for pubs in Wales we’re talking £11,300. Not only that but some pubs in Wales will be eligible for upwards of £17,000 in grant support as licensees in Scotland struggle to keep their heads above water.
Said Scottish Beer & Pub Association CEO, Emma McClarkin (pictured), “As a sector, hospitality businesses are on their knees and are desperately crying out for meaningful economic support. Whilst any grant is of course welcome, the current level of funding does not come close to covering fixed costs, even when closed. In order to support jobs, the Scottish Government needs to at least match the support offered to pub in Wales.”
This whole situation makes even less sense with Scotland having ‘£2.5bn more cash in the bank’ than Wales.
Said SHG spokesperson Stephen Montgomery, “Each of the devolved administrations was each given a guaranteed minimum of additional spending to help them respond to the crisis and in July, this stood at £6.5bn in Scotland, £4bn in Wales and £2.2bn in Northern Ireland, but the minimums were increased in October and then again in November, with the total guaranteed amount now standing at £16bn.
“Therefore it begs the question that when Scotland gets more money than Wales, but Wales gives more grants……….where’s the money?”
The SBPA has demanded the Scottish Government at the very least match these grants to save thousands of jobs. As far as we know, there will be no cap on multiple operators in Wales, something which the Scottish Government has included on previous grants. This resulted in many SMEs in the hospitality sector receiving reduced levels of support so now it’s time for action.
Continued Emma, “Every day that passes without further economic support means that more pubs will stay closed for good and more jobs will be lost as a result. Pubs in Wales have been given a lifeline which we hope will now see most of their pubs reach the other side of the pandemic. Meanwhile, pubs in Scotland face devastation. “
The SBPA CEO is now calling for a cash injection from Nicola Sturgeon to protect multiple operators and the 100,00 jobs the hospitality industry supports in Scotland or we can wave goodbye to thousands of pubs for good.
“The Scottish Government cannot delay any further and must now announce more support for the hospitality sector, which provides over 100,000 jobs in Scotland. They must also support the jobs of those workers that are employed by multiple operators. The current restriction on grant support means that hundreds of jobs are being put at additional risk, for no reason. Some pubs, if owned by multiple operators will receive absolutely nothing.
“If the Welsh Government can support hospitality jobs and businesses with this level of support, the Scottish Government must be able to provide at least equitable support. Without it, thousands of pubs likely stay closed for good.”