Tim Martin the chief of Wetherspoon’s has called on the government to reopen all pubs as the same time as non-essential shops.
Martin warned that the pub industry “is on its knees” and needs help to save jobs, as the sector provides billions to the economy, especially in taxes.
Martin said, “In the last 10-years Wetherspoon has generated £6.1bn of taxes, something we are very proud of.
“In the financial year to July 2019, before the pandemic, Wetherspoon, its customers and employees generated £764m of taxes, £1 in every thousand collected by the UK government.
“Many people have correctly pointed out that the three lockdowns of the last year have been a disaster for the hospitality, retail, arts and entertainment industries, but our calculations show that they have been an even bigger disaster for public finances.
“The taxes paid by Wetherspoon are mirrored by thousands of companies which have been annihilated by lockdowns.
“As a result, government finances have been annihilated even more.”
Martin told Sky News that Wetherspoon had registered over 50m customer visits to his pubs across the UK and out of his 875 pubs they have not seen one “single outbreak” of Covid.
He said that the government have been provided by the hospitality sector information which “clearly demonstrates” pubs and restaurants are secure environments.
Martin said, ‘The government knows this is correct, since it has access to Test and Trace information.
“Yet the government has ignored this information and has even banned golf, the ultimate social distancing sport.”
The Wetherspoon chief added, “Surely it is possible for the hospitality industry to reopen at the same time as non-essential shops, now that a vaccine exists, on the basis of the social distancing and hygiene regulations.
“Unless the industry does reopen on that basis, economic mayhem will inevitably follow.”