John Healey, the ‘Pubs Minister’, has today announced a paltry Â£4 million in aid for struggling pubs – and a 12 point action plan, which sound remarkably like Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 step recovery plan.
Complaining bitterly that ’40 pubs are closing each week’ loosing the economy ‘millions of pounds’, he is launching ‘Pub is the Hub’ to put a stop to all this…..the crash you just heard was several thousand pub landlords, peacefully drinking their coffee and reading the Morning Advertiser, falling off their bar stools.
Healey says that there are ‘several factors’ that account for the 2,365 pubs that closed last year, putting 29,000 people out of work. Naturally, none of them are the government’s fault.
He wants to increase the ‘range of choice’ for customers. Hollow laughter. Pick yourself up off the bar floor lads, he doesn’t mean that the customers can actually make a free choice as to what they do in your establishment.
Like Smoke. Good Lord No. Though he does concede that ‘the cost of introducing smoke-free legislation’ might just have had some input into the decline of publican’s ability to stay in business.
He means that he wants to give the customers a wider choice of government approved beer.
Another factor worrying him is the increase in Publican’s applying for planning permission to change their designated use to ‘higher value uses such as housing’. This is ‘another reason’ for pubs closing……
Hmmn, Publican’s just upping and deciding to turn themselves into a desirable house for no reason at all, nothing to do with the fact that they are slowly going bankrupt, no connection at all?
What can we do about that? Ah, give the community a greater say in stopping them doing it……
So when you are going bust, the old git at the end of the road who has never set foot in your pub will now be ‘supported by strong government’ to prevent you doing that…quoting ‘Pub is the Hub’ legislation.
Where is that Â£4 million pounds going? To the Publican’s? Don’t be silly.
Â£3.3 million of it is going to an organisation called the Plunkett Foundation to support just 50 pubs which will be owned by the ‘community’. The Plunkett Foundation have a wonderous list of worthy fellows and trustees who believe totally in co-operative organisations.
So, Mr Publican, having been driven out of business by no-smoking legislation, drink-driving laws, health and safety regulations, and excessive government taxation on alcohol, the nice shinny new help you have just been offered by the government actually amounts to stopping you selling the pub as a house, and giving millions to a quango to enable the ‘community’ to buy you out at the current value of your worthless pub.