Warrington MEP says it's time to ease smoke ban on pubs as new figures show 31 are closing every week

Warrington MEP says it's time to ease smoke ban on pubs as new figures show 31 are closing every week

Warrington MEP says it's time to ease smoke ban on pubs as new figures show 31 are closing every week

First published in News
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NEW figures showing pub closures have accelerated to 31 per week have led to calls to reduce taxes and ease the smoking ban on the local boozer.

The figures are released as part of real ale group Camra's "Pubs Matter"campaign and show 3% of pubs in the suburbs have shut in the past six months.

Paul Nuttall, UKIP’s deputy leader and Northwest MEP, said “It is completely unfair that pubs are paying nearly ten times more tax on a price of a pint in comparison to supermarkets.

"The smoking ban also severely hit pubs right across the country - if landlords want a well-ventilated room set aside for smokers they should be able to make that choice.

"This move along with reducing VAT for the hospitality industry would support local pubs and decelerate the rate they’re closing each and every week”.

He added: “Cheap deals in big superstores ultimately leads to more people drinking large quantities before they go out, leading to even greater losses for pub landlords.

“A host of countries across Europe have lower levels of VAT in order to protect hospitality businesses. The end result is more bars are staying open and employing more people”.

Camra said pubs support more than a million jobs and each contributes an average of £80,000 to its local economy each year.

The smoking ban in England - making it illegal to smoke in all enclosed work places - came into force in July 2007 under the Health Act.

A review of evidence on the impact in England in 2012 was commissioned by the Government and carried out by Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Stirling and the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies.

Professor Bauld's report concluded: "The law has had a significant impact."

"Results show benefits for health, changes in attitudes and behaviour - and no clear adverse impact on the hospitality industry."

One of the few places where it is still NOT illegal to light up is inside the Palace of Westminster, but in the "spirit of the law" MPs and Lords have restricted smoking to just four areas in the grounds.

Comments (4)

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4:13pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Freeborn John says...

Heavy government taxes, restrictive brewery practices, grasping property owners, crazy rates and eye watering overheads are closing those 31 pubs a week, it's ridiculous to suggest that letting the snoutcasts back in would turn the industry round, not with that greedy lot on its back.
Heavy government taxes, restrictive brewery practices, grasping property owners, crazy rates and eye watering overheads are closing those 31 pubs a week, it's ridiculous to suggest that letting the snoutcasts back in would turn the industry round, not with that greedy lot on its back. Freeborn John
  • Score: 11

4:34pm Tue 12 Aug 14

ninearches says...

It is easy now for the venture capitalists masquerading as breweries to grind their tenants & managers into the dust knowing that ,at a time of their choosing, the land will net them millions for building on.
It is easy now for the venture capitalists masquerading as breweries to grind their tenants & managers into the dust knowing that ,at a time of their choosing, the land will net them millions for building on. ninearches
  • Score: 7

5:28pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Benjamin Behr says...

I think that talking about the subject of relaxing/reversing the smoking ban at this stage is like to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted. With regards to the pub and club issue in particular, England was unlucky enough to pick July 2007 to invoke the smoking ban, so the first two months of it saw a lot of cold and wet weather. I believe (and saw evidence with the Brickmakers Arms and Manx Arms - remember them?) that the locals who frequented such pubs tried out buying drinks at the supermarket to drink with friends at the home of one of the peer group. It was then that they found that the five "C"s were enhanced by the switch, which explains why they never went back to going out.

It's also my belief that some of the anti-smoking non-smoker crowd toasted their victory of the ban coming in with a trip out to pubs and clubs, finding the five "C"s being lessened versus their normal habit of buying drinks at the supermarket to drink with friends at the home of one of the peer group, so they vowed never to that again. Obviously the subsequent recession exacerbated the effect.

What are the five "C"s I hear you ask. Well, cost is the first, convenience is the second, comfort is the third, company is the fourth and, encapsulating those is the fifth which is control. Now cost is obviously with the drinks themselves as well as things like entry into clubs and transport, particularly at silly o clock late by taxi. This, combined with queueing to get into places, get served, etc. detracts from the convenience of going out. Just think of the people one encounters in the town centre of a Friday or Saturday evening and one gets the sense of "company" thrust upon us when going out. Loud banging music of someone else's choice, getting sopping wet through dashing from one pub to another and so on shows how comfort can de detracted from by going out. All of the above shows how one relinquishes control by going out. Is it any wonder therefore why there are still dozens of pubs/clubs per week around the country still going out of business seven years after the rot set in?
I think that talking about the subject of relaxing/reversing the smoking ban at this stage is like to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted. With regards to the pub and club issue in particular, England was unlucky enough to pick July 2007 to invoke the smoking ban, so the first two months of it saw a lot of cold and wet weather. I believe (and saw evidence with the Brickmakers Arms and Manx Arms - remember them?) that the locals who frequented such pubs tried out buying drinks at the supermarket to drink with friends at the home of one of the peer group. It was then that they found that the five "C"s were enhanced by the switch, which explains why they never went back to going out. It's also my belief that some of the anti-smoking non-smoker crowd toasted their victory of the ban coming in with a trip out to pubs and clubs, finding the five "C"s being lessened versus their normal habit of buying drinks at the supermarket to drink with friends at the home of one of the peer group, so they vowed never to that again. Obviously the subsequent recession exacerbated the effect. What are the five "C"s I hear you ask. Well, cost is the first, convenience is the second, comfort is the third, company is the fourth and, encapsulating those is the fifth which is control. Now cost is obviously with the drinks themselves as well as things like entry into clubs and transport, particularly at silly o clock late by taxi. This, combined with queueing to get into places, get served, etc. detracts from the convenience of going out. Just think of the people one encounters in the town centre of a Friday or Saturday evening and one gets the sense of "company" thrust upon us when going out. Loud banging music of someone else's choice, getting sopping wet through dashing from one pub to another and so on shows how comfort can de detracted from by going out. All of the above shows how one relinquishes control by going out. Is it any wonder therefore why there are still dozens of pubs/clubs per week around the country still going out of business seven years after the rot set in? Benjamin Behr
  • Score: 1

7:53pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Kevin Mannion says...

In my view it was not the smoking ban that has caused the decline in the pub trade. it's the price! nowadays younger drinkers buy their drink from supermarkets CHEAP an they get well tanked up before they go out on the town. The local pubs where your regular drinkers use to go an spend a few hours on the way home from work and couples would go out for the night well it's the price that has cut that trade back. Todays pubs have no chance of competing with prices at the supermarket's and on top of that the publican has to pay the rent which is robbery!
In my view it was not the smoking ban that has caused the decline in the pub trade. it's the price! nowadays younger drinkers buy their drink from supermarkets CHEAP an they get well tanked up before they go out on the town. The local pubs where your regular drinkers use to go an spend a few hours on the way home from work and couples would go out for the night well it's the price that has cut that trade back. Todays pubs have no chance of competing with prices at the supermarket's and on top of that the publican has to pay the rent which is robbery! Kevin Mannion
  • Score: 1

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