Following the decision to plunge London into the strictest tier Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to reject a appeal by London’s mayor Sadiq Khan for a bailout for the capital’s hospitality industry.
Sadiq Khan called for extra support for pubs and restaurants amid fears 150,000 jobs could be lost in London after it was placed under the most severe restrictions, however the Treasury said Mr Sunak had already announced support for hospitality firms and the funds on offer would not be increased.
Mr Khan said: ‘I don’t want London to be in Tier Three for a day longer than necessary. I am hugely concerned about the negative impact that the additional restrictions will have on jobs and many businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat.
‘We now urgently need much more government support for the sectors of our economy that are being hit the hardest, including hospitality, culture, and leisure.
‘It is crucial that ministers urgently put in place a compensation scheme for all lost income, based on last year’s returns, for any businesses affected by the further restrictions during this crucial festive period.
Earlier this week the British Beer and Pub Association warned that in London alone the restrictions will force 1,250 pubs who remained open in tier two to close, putting nearly 8,000 more sector jobs at risk worth an additional £16 million to the local economy. In total, 56,000 sector jobs are now at risk in London alone as all its 3,680 pubs will now be closed except for takeaway business.
The trade association also said a stronger package of financial support is vital not just for pubs, but also brewers across the rest of the country. Particularly as this latest full closure is likely to see pubs closed through the critical lead up to Christmas and over the New Year trading periods, and highlighted the huge disparity in support offered to pubs in England compared to those in Wales saying that pubs in London and affected areas of Hertfordshire and Essex will receive support that is four times less that offered to pubs in Wales from the Welsh Government for similar trading restrictions. Some pubs in Wales will be eligible for even more support than that.