BrewDog boss calls for Gov to sort out train strikes ‘mess’

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Demanding a solution: James Watt doesn’t believe the current Government can do anything productive for the population or businesses
Demanding a solution: James Watt doesn’t believe the current Government can do anything productive for the population or businesses

Related tags Craft beer Brewdog Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators Finance Legislation Government

BrewDog chief executive James Watt has called on the Government to “step in” on the continual rail strikes and “sort out this mess out”.

The co-founder of the Ellon-based brewer and bar operator said many of its sites have made losses with the total cost to the business being £3.5m.

Watt: “We are calling for the Government to act now to stop the strikes. To help save jobs across the UK, to help protect businesses and to avoid huge chunks being taken out of tax revenue.

“However, based on what we have seen over the past few years, I don’t believe this current Government is capable of doing anything productive for the UK people or our struggling businesses.”

Wide-reaching affect

He added the trains strikes do not just impact passengers, “the grim reality is that the negative impact of the strikes is far more wide-reaching”.

Explaining the fiscal effect, Watt said: “So far, this equates to £3.5m in revenue lost, £600,000 of wages to our amazing team lost and tellingly £1m to the treasury lost via VAT, national insurance [contributions] and beer duty.

“This also equates to around 40 jobs that we have not been able to create – 40 jobs that the UK economy badly needs at this time.

“Everyone, including the Government, is losing out massively as the train strikes continue: the strikes are threatening the viability and the future of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs all over the UK.”

Fast closure rates

He continued: “All of this comes at a time when pubs, bars and restaurants are closing at the fastest rates since records began.”

He argued, as an economy, the UK is already massively struggling compared to all other G7 countries due to the “extreme incompetence of our leadership” and added allowing train strikes to continue further underlines such incompetence and further handicaps the already “crippled” economy.

He has even offered the chance for the unions and Government to come together at its flagship Waterloo pub for a “beer and sandwich negotiation”.

He concluded: “When our economy suffers, everyone suffers – through higher inflation, through higher interest rates and through everyone having less disposable income.”

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