BLACKBURN’S MP said the government's “back of the couch” cash is not enough for the town's pubs after Boris Johnson promised £1,000 for boozers.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced extra support for 'wet pubs' which have been forced to remain closed by Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

However many people say this is not enough to help businesses which have already been closed for several weeks.

Kate Hollern, MP for Blackburn, said: “The money the Government has found down the back of the couch for pubs that don’t sell food simply isn’t enough to support businesses in Blackburn that have borne the brunt of this pandemic.

“Many businesses are now receiving less support than they did during the first wave, which is absurd given this pandemic has been taking its toll on businesses for some time – and especially as we approach Christmas.

“As Blackburn prepares to enter tier 3, the Government needs to cough up more business support and publish its financial impact assessments across each region and sector, so that we can better understand the impact restrictions are having on the local economy.”

Carole Davis who runs the Clifton Arms in Blackburn said: “As much as I welcome the support from the government, the £1,000 won't cover half of the cost the pubs have to incur if we have to stay shut until February. They should look at the industry again and the restrictions.

“I understand the severity of everything but I feel that unless they do something about the restrictions across the whole of the industry, the great British pub is going to be lost forever in some areas.”

Carole and other Blackburn wet pub landlords are concerned about their businesses which have been closed since tier three restrictions were introduced on October 17.

“It’s a big worry for not just myself but all of us.” Carole added. “We just try to do the best we can and try and move forward, try and see that light at the end of the tunnel. It is there somewhere but when and where and how, none of us know.”

Opening the debate on the tiers system in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said all wet pubs will receive £1,000 to “recognise how hard they have been hit” by Covid controls during what would be their busiest time of year. Previously in tier 3, pubs were able to remain open if they could operate as a restaurant however this guidance is now part of tier two restrictions which are in place for most of the country including London, with wet pubs only allowed to remain open in tier one areas.

Mr Johnson read a list of support already announced for the hospitality sector, before telling MPs: “Today we’re going further, with a one-off payment of £1,000 in December to wet pubs – that’s pubs that do not serve food.”

The British Beer & Pub Association said the payment is not nearly enough for pubs to survive nine weeks and needs to be accompanied by an increase in monthly grants. The association predicts without additional support, 80 per cent of England’s pubs could be at risk of permanent closure.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “£1,000 on its own is a meagre amount for pubs to cover nine weeks of costs let alone compensate them for the huge loss of business over the festive period. It is quite frankly an insult to thousands of pubs across the UK that are on their knees. It barely touches the sides of what pubs up and down the country require to cover their costs and ensure they survive. Nor does it recognise the inherent danger they are in heading into the next year without more support should the tighter tier system remain unchanged.

“This December, the average pub will lose £47,000 in revenue. A £1,000 payment is not even a sticking plaster. The current monthly grants to pubs have to be increased significantly if pubs are to survive and be able to play a role in the new year in leading the economic recovery and serving their local communities.”