NEW figures showing pub closures have accelerated to 31 per week have led to calls to reduce taxes and ease the smoking ban on the local boozer.
The figures are released as part of real ale group Camra’s “Pubs Matter”campaign and show 3% of pubs in the suburbs have shut in the past six months.
Paul Nuttall, UKIP’s deputy leader and Northwest MEP, said “It is completely unfair that pubs are paying nearly ten times more tax on a price of a pint in comparison to supermarkets.
“The smoking ban also severely hit pubs right across the country – if landlords want a well-ventilated room set aside for smokers they should be able to make that choice.
“This move along with reducing VAT for the hospitality industry would support local pubs and decelerate the rate they’re closing each and every week”.
So in UKIP it’s not just Nigel Farage who wants to relax the smoking ban.
I can’t say I ever really thought it was.
And if Nigel Farage stopped drinking for a month in Jan/Feb, he seems to be well back on again now:
Nigel Farage seems to believe his party’s faltering campaign has turned a corner – if his enthusiastic sing-song celebration in a restaurant in Ramsgate on Thursday night is anything to go by.
A little before midnight, the well-wined Ukip leader stood on a chair in a small Italian eatery in the Kent town to bellow out a rendition of New York, New York to the delight of his dining companions.
That performance came after several renditions of Hi, Ho Silver Lining, with Farage hollering down the phone to whoever happened to be calling.
A little unsteady on his feet, the Ukip leader then rounded off the night with The Wild Rover outside on the pavement, as aides persuaded him that moving on to a nightclub or revisiting his teenage days of skinny-dipping were not sensible for a party leader two weeks before the most important election of his life.
The immediate cause of Farage’s celebration was a Survation telephone poll commissioned by party donor Alan Bown that suggests the Ukip leader is nine points ahead in his target seat of South Thanet in Kent.
Halfway through the evening, after many glasses of red and some fresh seafood, he leaned across the table to his agent and declared with glee: “We’re bloody winning, aren’t we?”
And the smoking? From the same Guardian report:
An aide at his side held his cigarette during doorstep visits and carried “souvenir” Ukip placards that Farage autographed for residents to display in their windows.
I think that puts yesterday’s nightmare scenario to bed.