What's in the news 18 March

The MA's Review of the Week

‘We’re going to see the biggest division in wealthiest and poorest’

By Gary Lloyd

The MA’s Gary Lloyd caught up with night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord to get his views on the two-year anniversary of when Boris Johnson told people not to go to pubs before closing them, the upcoming Spring Statement, cost of...

Confusing message: the SLTA and UKHospitality Scotland have expressed disappointment over the extension of face mask rules in Scotland (credit: Getty/Drazen Zigic)

SLTA fears for bar staff over face mask extension

By Gary Lloyd

The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) fears the government’s decision to continue forcing pub customers to wear face masks could lead to angry confrontations with bar staff.

Hospitality businesses see 150% increase in energy cost: some suppliers now refusing contracts to businesses in the sector (Credit: Getty/John Lamb)

150% hike in pubs’ energy bills

By Rebecca Weller

Hospitality businesses across the UK have seen energy bills rise by 150% or more when compared to pre-pandemic levels, equivalent to an £800m additional cost to the sector, according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

Discussion welcome: pubs code adjudicator Fiona Dickie outlines how she is looking to increase conversations with tenants

How the pubs code is working in practice

By Fiona Dickie, pubs code adjudicator

A big focus for me at the moment is boosting communications with tied tenants. I am listening to their views about the code and improving their understanding of pubs code rights.

Long look: the timeline runs from February 2020 until February 2022 (image: Getty/MoMo Productions)

A look back at how the coronavirus pandemic impacted pubs

By Nikkie Thatcher

Following the Government's Living with Covid plan being published last week, The Morning Advertiser has taken a deep dive into the rules and regulations the sector has faced amid the pandemic over the past two years.

Are pubs fighting for support?

No time to sit on our hands

By Ed Bedington

And so, with screaming tyres and a whiff of burning (or is that hypocrisy), the Government has yanked on the handbrake and skidded us 180 degrees out of the pandemic.

Government ask: operators have also written to the Government, calling for the 12.5% VAT to remain in place (image: Getty/Galeanu Mihai)

Lower VAT remains operators' top ask for Spring Statement

By Nikkie Thatcher

Keeping the 12.5% VAT rate on food, soft drinks and accommodation is the most preferred ask from operators to the Government ahead of the Chancellor's Spring Statement next month (March), a flash survey has shown.

BBPA calls for three-yearly business rates cycle: pubs pay more in business, per pound of turnover, than any other business sector (Credit: Getty/ Image Source)

BBPA calls for exemptions on new business rates review

By Rebecca Weller

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has called for exemptions to the proposed ‘Duty to Notify’ requirements for pubs detailed as part of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Community and Treasury’s joint technical consultation on moving...

All restrictions in Scotland to be lifted from 21 March: sector welcomes end of restrictions but warn further support is needed (Credit: Shutterstock/Terry Murden)

Sector welcomes end to restrictions in Scotland

By Rebecca Weller

Trade bodies across the hospitality sector have welcomed the lifting of Covid restrictions in Scotland but urge the end to restrictions must come sooner and further support must be given.

Range of demands: Kate Nicholls of UKHospitality

UKH demands new tax rate for sector

By Gary Lloyd

A new hospitality tax rate must be introduced to aid the recovery of the sector while a sales tax must be introduced for online businesses, according to UKHospitality (UKH).

Call for information: the NTIA wants data released on why nightclubs were forced to close longer than other businesses (credit: Getty/gilaxia)

NTIA welcomes end of Welsh Covid Pass but demands inquiry

By Gary Lloyd

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has demanded to see the evidence that forced the closure of nightclubs in Wales longer than other businesses but welcomed the news Covid Passes are being scrapped from today (Friday 18 February).

Tracker results: sales in managed pubs saw a slight increase for January, when compared with the same month in 2019 (image; Getty/Taiyou Nomachi)

January sales saw marginal growth of 2%

By Nikkie Thatcher

A modest increase in the nation’s managed pub, bar and restaurant groups sales in January were put down to rising consumer confidence and the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, according to the Coffer CGA Business Tracker.

Rising prices: 'Costs are escalating and we’re probably on our own when it comes to Government support,' says The Morning Advertiser's Ed Bedington

Time to keep fighting

By Ed Bedington

Pub operators could be forgiven for feeling a little like a punching bag of late. Fresh from being the main target when it comes to the Government’s ineffectual control of Covid, we’re now facing a tidal wave of cost when it comes to energy supply.

Rising costs: increasing energy bills are hitting operators amid a myriad of other soaring prices (image: Getty/coldsnowstorm)

‘Rising energy costs hitting firms at worst possible time’

By Nikkie Thatcher

Rocketing energy bills are crippling the sector at “the worst possible time”, following the impact of Plan B guidance over the festive period and ahead of Government support such as the lower VAT rate and business rates support ending.

Past the peak of Omicron variant: Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford

Nightclubs reopen in Wales

By Gary Lloyd

Nightclubs in Wales have been allowed to reopen as the country moves into alert level 0 as coronavirus cases begin to stabilise, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

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