A NATIONAL grassroots movement is challenging the Chancellor after calling a figure he quoted for the amount of rent paid by pubs inaccurate.

The Campaign for Pubs has tried to voice its disagreement with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying the figures he gave were 'wholly unrealistic'.

Mr Sunak stated that the average rent payable by a typical pub was in the region of £14,000 to £20,000 a year.

But the Campaign for Pubs says the lowest rent reported was £21,000 with the average appearing to be around £39,000.

Campaign chair Paul Crossman said: “In common with publicans across the country I listened with disbelief to the rental figures quoted by the Chancellor in yesterday’s BBC interview.

"If the Government is working on the assumption of such gross underestimates then it goes a long way to explaining why inadequate support has meant so many publicans have already lost their businesses and homes for good, and why so many more are facing enormous mounting debts that threaten their future.

"We can only hope the Chancellor’s forthcoming measures will be based on the reality faced by small business operators, some of whom, for example, have continued to face demands for full rent during closure at levels at least four or five times higher than those the Chancellor quoted.

"If this crucial Budget does not reflect the actual reality for pubs on the ground then huge numbers will not make it through to the summer, with dreadful consequences for publicans, their families and their communities, not to mention the wider economy."

REACT: Camra Chairman Dave Stubbins wants pubs to be on a level playing field with super markets

REACT: Camra Chairman Dave Stubbins wants pubs to be on a level playing field with super markets

Dave Stubbins, Chairman of Furness Campaign for Real Ale (or Camra) said: "Our head office sent out a letter to our members encouraging them to write to the Chancellor. In this capability I wrote as an individual rather than as chairman of Camra.

"We want pubs to be on a level playing field with supermarkets which have filled the market with cheap beer, and that harms pubs.

“We at Camra always encourage responsible drinking and a pub isn’t the place you can go and binge so it’s a healthier option.

“This came from our central office which encouraged members to write and outline their situations and concerns.

“We haven't had any responses yet, but individual pubs will no doubt continue to voice their concerns on rent.

“It’s important especially as pubs will be coming back soon and they need every opportunity to get back on their feet.”