Covid-19: Support for UK Industries

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:28 pm on 25th June 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mark Fletcher Mark Fletcher Conservative, Bolsover 4:28 pm, 25th June 2020

There is no doubt that the period that we are living through has been one of the most unusual that we will ever have. It has been a tremendous challenge for us all, filled with fear and the unknown. These unprecedented times have been met with unprecedented actions when it comes to this Government: 11,200 people in my constituency have benefited from the job retention scheme and 3,100 people have benefited from the self-employment scheme. These are families and individuals who have felt more secure and safer during these incredibly challenging times.

The Government have not stopped there: from the small business grant fund, the retail, hospitality and leisure grant, and the business interruption loan scheme, through to the bounce-back loans and the deferral of VAT payments and self-assessment payments—I fear I could spend my entire three minutes outlining the amazing actions that the Government have taken over the past three months. What I will say is that I am incredibly proud to support a Government who have put ordinary workers and families first.

As we enter a new stage, I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with Caroline Lucas in saying that it is vital that we put green concerns at the heart of our strategy. I also agree with my hon. Friend Anthony Browne that we need to unleash our private sector and continue to support it, because it will be at the heart of everything that is good. It has had a very difficult time, and we need to support it.

My constituency is beautiful—it is, as I have previously mentioned, the most beautiful constituency in the entire country—and has tremendous tourism potential. We have talked about those who have unfortunately slipped through the cracks in the Government’s various schemes. One example is Creswell Crags in my constituency, which is a wonderful tourism destination. The Minister is almost certainly rolling his eyes, because he is bored of me mentioning this, but I will once again put on record that we need to continue to support that wonderful attraction and the many others in Bolsover, because our tourism potential is unlimited.

I conclude by saying once again that I am incredibly proud of everything we have done. We have a long way to go to get out of this crisis, but I believe that we are showing the leadership to get through it.