A recent comment made by Rishi Sunak has “sparked uproar” amongst the nation’s tenant publicans after the chancellor quoted “wholly unrealistic figures” regarding the amount of rent they pay when speaking on a recent TV appearance.
According to Campaign for Real Pubs, on Sunday 28 February when talking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Sunak stated that the average rent payable by a typical pub was “in the region of £14,000-£20,000 a year”.
However the group has said that the figure quoted by the Chancellor is a “gross underestimate” of the rent paid by most pubs and restaurants across the country. Research conducted by Campaign for Pubs found the lowest rent reported was £21,000, with the average appearing to be around £39,000.
With Sunak’s Budget to be announced tomorrow (3 March), the group has said it is concerned that the government is basing support measures for pubs upon the “huge under-assessment” of rent expressed by the Chancellor in the interview.
Paul Crossman, chair of the Campaign for Pubs said: ”If the government is working on the assumption of such gross underestimates then it goes a long way to explaining why inadequate support has meant so many publicans have already lost their businesses and homes for good, and why so many more are facing enormous mounting debts that threaten their future.
“We can only hope the Chancellor’s forthcoming measures will be based on the reality faced by small business operators, some of whom, for example, have continued to face demands for full rent during closure at levels at least four or five times higher than those the Chancellor quoted.”
He added: “If this crucial Budget does not reflect the actual reality for pubs on the ground then huge numbers will not make it through to the summer, with dreadful consequences for publicans, their families and their communities, not to mention the wider economy.”