New Government needs a ‘flourishing pub sector’, says Fuller’s boss

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Flourishing sector: Fuller's boss makes pleas to new Government over pub industry
Flourishing sector: Fuller's boss makes pleas to new Government over pub industry

Related tags: Beer, Public house, Economics, Government

Fuller’s brewery and pubco chief executive Simon Emeny highlighted the importance of a “flourishing pub sector” for the UK economy as he urged the new Government to tackle the three biggest issues for the pub industry.

In an exclusive interview with The Morning Advertiser​ Emeny said it was vital that the new Government moved quickly to reform business rates, provide guarantees for EU nationals working in the sector and reduce beer duty. 

The Fuller’s boss said the Government will need a flourishing pub sector to help generate revenues to invest elsewhere.

“I am sure the new Government will have a myriad of internal challenges to face, but they have to realise that business is the life blood of the economy,” he said. “If companies like ours are not investing and creating jobs, it's going to be very difficult for them to invest in some of the wider areas that they clearly will want to spend money on.”

Industry issues

Emeny said pubs faced a “bombshell” after the decision to raise business rates was made last year and said that pubs, despite accounting for 0.5% of all business turnover, pay 2.8% of all business rates.

He has also called on the new Government to guarantee the rights of existing EU nationals working in the UK.

“The Government has had a very difficult week but they have to understand that they must give guarantees to EU nationals working in this country, and not use them as bargaining chips,” he said.

Commenting on the rising cost of beer duty, Emeny said it didn’t make sense for an industry which employs “something like a million people” to be paying the highest duty rate in Europe. “[We] have a flourishing beer market, which is entirely made using British ingredients, [so it] would be in [the Government’s] best interests to encourage it.”

Business confidence

Asked about the results of a poll from the Institute of Directors (IOD)​ that found business confidence has “dropped dramatically” since the General Election, Emeny said: "Businesses invest for the long term. [But] it's very difficult to invest in the long term if you have no idea who is going to be running the country, what policies they are going to be working towards or what is going to happen when we leave the European Union.

“It is understandable that business confidence is very low at the moment.”

Enemy added that he ultimately believes customers want to go out and socialise, and that the pub is an important part of many people's work and social life.

“Our view is that if we continue to get the experience right for our customers and invest well in our properties, then confidence in pubs will remain,” he added.

Related topics: Other operators

Related news

Show more