Areas with Additional Public Health Restrictions: Economic Support

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 6th October 2020.

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Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:39 pm, 6th October 2020

I gently take issue with the point about coaches not having support. One of the areas where coach firms have been able to benefit hugely from our response, and to work with the Government, has been in school transport. We were able to secure the additional capacity that we needed in part through the willingness of coach companies to adapt as part of our response. It is not the case that coach companies have been unable to get any business during the pandemic.

On more comprehensive measures, the hon. Member is right that the cinema industry has been hit hard. We were all concerned to see the announcement from Cineworld at the weekend. Together with Odeon and Vue that is 75% of the market, but as he knows it is not simply down to one issue. With cinemas, there is the supply of films—the delay of some of the blockbuster films has had an impact—and consumer confidence. Attendance is significantly down compared with last year, and there is also the impact of the non-pharmaceutical interventions. There is not one single factor, but we continue to work with the cinema industry in shaping our response.