Extended Income Support: Seasonal Industries

Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

What discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of providing extended income support for people in seasonal industries.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I have regular conversations with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, who is responsible for the coronavirus job retention scheme and the self-employment income support scheme, which have supported 9.2 million and 2.6 million people respectively—nearly 12 million people in total. He has set out how the schemes will be phased out during the autumn. The furlough scheme continues until the end of October.

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

The position for people in the visitor economy in my constituency is particularly acute because of the highly seasonal nature of the trade. It has been described to me as being like three winters in a row. Does the Secretary of State accept, and will she prosecute the case within Government, that if some industries in some areas are to have a viable future, there will need to be special consideration?

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I too have a coastal constituency with a significant tourism economy. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said, we are looking to get the tourist sector up and running as strong as possible, and extending it for as long as we can. That is a key part of the campaign. When it is back, we will invest heavily and ensure that we have a major campaign to encourage British people to take British staycations.