SMOKING BAN MISERY
The fifth anniversary of the smoking ban in pubs is a cause for sadness not celebration, said local MEP Paul Nuttall today.
It is five years on Sunday since the legislation was introduced and during that time thousands of pubs have closed down.
“In 2006 an average of four pubs a week closed down but the following year when the ban was imposed there was a huge jump to 27 a week,” said Mr Nuttall, UKIP Euro-MP.
“By 2009 this had risen further to a staggering 52 pubs a week and even now 16 a week are calling time for the last time.
“These figures give the lie to those who claim that the smoking ban has not played a major part in the demise of the pub trade in this country.
“Every single closure in towns and villages up and down the land means the loss of an important community asset. Pubs are at the heart of local communities and every closure is a tragedy.
“And let us not forget the thousands of jobs in these premises which are lost. The job market is increasingly difficult and bar workers are being added to the dole queue with little prospect of employment,” he said.
“What is needed is freedom for licensees to have a smoking room, which would be properly ventilated and so enable them to please both smokers and non-smokers. This legislation has taken away another freedom from “the man in the street” and literally forced him onto the street if he wants a cigarette.”
Mr Nuttall, UKIP Deputy-Leader, has written a booklet on the pub trade in which he calls for Royal Commission to be urgently set up into the declining industry.