Eel Pie Pub in Twickenham

Twickenham Pub Workers Welcome Hunt Backing Pubs

Pub workers in Twickenham have welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequers’ promise to back British pubs.

During yesterday’s 2024 Spring Budget, Jeremy Hunt announced an extension to the freeze in alcohol duty until February 2025.

He claimed this would benefit 38,000 pubs up and down the UK.

Hunt said: “We value our hospitality industry and we are backing the great British pub.”

This move was supported by pub workers in Twickenham, as some have seen issues in the industry as a result of Covid, the cost of living and rising prices in pubs.

The Eel Pie Bar’s supervisor Charlie Brindley said: “People struggling to pay for their own groceries can’t really go out to the pub.”

The Royal Oak’s team leader Martin Wilby said:: “The freeze means we don’t have to necessarily raise our prices, keeps a lot of the regulars happy”

Pub prices have been a contentious issue recently, as according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the price of drinks have been steadily increasing.

From May 2022 to January 2024 the average price of a pint of draught in the UK went up by nearly a pound according to the ONS.

The George’s junior manager Madalina Martin explained the pub has increased drink prices twice in the last six months.

She said: “People think twice about getting more drinks.”

Brindley explained how this affects independent pubs in particular

Brindley said: “For privately owned pubs they are reliant on their own trade.

“If they have to put their prices up they will lose out on a lot of regulars and in turn they might lose their pub.”

This problem may have already started.

Statistica noted that according to the British Beer and Pub Association, the number of pubs in the United Kingdom dropped by 9,050 between 2010 and 2021.

Covid-19 was highlighted as another issue within the hospitality industry.

According to Hospitality Market Monitor from AlixPartners and CGA by Nielsen IQ more than 10% of hospitality businesses closed from 2020 to the beginning of 2023.

Ruby Leeson, a front of house worker at The Cabbage Patch, said: “There’s definitely still a difference since before Covid in the culture of people going out.”

She emphasised how this will hopefully be impacted by the freeze in alcohol duty: “Help is definitely still needed because it’s not gone back to normal.”

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