Cheers to the government for rooting around in their coffers and coming up with £3.2 million to help communities take control of their local pub.
The plan involves a package of business development support, advice and loan and grant funding to help establish community-owned pubs.
I’m all in favour of such pubs, particularly with 29 hostelries still closing each week in this country. But hang on a minute, wouldn’t it have been a much better plan for the government to have intervened to stop closures in the first place?
That would, of course, mean them taking on the pub companies and the power of the industry’s lobbyists is an open secret.
They would rather keep taking the income from duties and taxes, albeit that diminishing with the vanishing outlets, than take positive steps to save the livelihood of publicans and their staff, including having a level playing field with supermarket pricing and cutting duty.
This two year support programme shows that the social importance of the village pub is finally recognised by the government but it should never have been allowed to come to this. I’ll raise a glass but when the froth of this gimmick has diminished I suspect I’ll be left with a bitter taste.
Paul Nuttall MEP
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35898616