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Coronavirus: Employment Support

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood Chair, Defence Committee 10:30 am, 19th March 2020

I echo the calls for urgent support for British tourism, which I know the Minister will be familiar with in his constituency. In the Bournemouth area, tourism is worth more than £1 billion and directly employs 17,000 people. I received a letter from David Bailey, who is chair of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole destination management board. He talks about lay-offs happening right now, as we speak, affecting the future of businesses. He asks whether it would be better if, rather than handing out benefit claims, the Government provided salaries immediately. That would mean the industry could retain the skills that will be needed to spearhead the economic recovery and would reduce the number of businesses that cease to trade. Will the Government consider that?