What exactly is it about wet-led pubs that the Government seems to hate?

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Extra measures: banning takeaway alcohol seems 'cruel and unnecessary' says MA editor Ed Bedington
Extra measures: banning takeaway alcohol seems 'cruel and unnecessary' says MA editor Ed Bedington

Related tags Wet-led pubs Legislation Government

I mean hospitality in general seems to be the whipping boy for the Government to target during this pandemic, but they seem to have singled out the wet-led operators for an extra kicking.

To ban the sales of takeaway alcohol from pubs, on top of all the other restrictions and penalties already imposed on wet-led pubs in the ridiculous tier system, seems especially cruel and unnecessary.

These pubs have received little to no support throughout this crisis, and have had to sit and watch while other operators have somewhat benefited from tax-breaks and less stringent rulings.

Now with the second lockdown looming, the Government seems determined to kick away their last remaining crutch and deny those operators the one potential source of revenue they could rely on. Meanwhile, supermarkets and convenience stores can carry on blithely selling cheap cans to anyone they like.

None of that makes a great deal of sense to me. In fact it makes no sense whatsoever.

Wet-led pubs are often the very same community-focused operators that provide the beating hearts for their communities.

Look at the winners in our Great British Pub Awards, and you’ll see just a few examples of the kind of operators who worked so hard and tirelessly during the last lockdown, despite their own troubles.

We have received no justification as yet from the Government for this latest arbitrary ruling, but then again, we never really got any great explanation for the pathetic 10pm curfew either.

Is the Government advice board made up of tee-total anti-alcohol campaigners? That’s about the only explanation that makes sense to me.

I am absolutely devastated for the wet-led sector who will now have to watch their stocks spoil and cash dwindle ever further thanks to the misguided idiocy of our political leaders.

This needs to change, and operators need to be given the chance to find ways to survive, or we run the risk of losing a Great British institution, one that helps provide the glue for communities and will help to bring society back together when we come out the other side of this pandemic.

We lose that at our peril.

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