Covid-19: Hospitality

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 15th December 2020.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of covid-19 financial relief in supporting growth in the hospitality sector.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

We have engaged with businesses to understand their needs at this challenging time. We are providing an unprecedented support package, including an extension of the coronavirus job retention scheme until 31 March 2021, grants, loans, rates relief and a VAT cut.

Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

Many plumbers, electricians and other self-employed people, including sole traders, have been left out of Government support. What can the Minister say to people who have worked hard all their lives and paid their taxes, and have seen their businesses collapse through no fault of their own? This includes the hospitality sector. Can the Government commit to providing further support, as local publicans in my area say that the tiny grant they got does not even get close to covering their overheads?

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

I was self-employed, running companies, for most of the 25 years that I was working before I was elected to this place; there but for the grace of God go I. I will continue to reflect the views of the self-employed in conversations with the Treasury. I also speak to the hospitality sector every single week and will be doing so later today. We have allocated £40 million extra to wet-led pubs, in addition to extending the moratorium on rent evictions and legal processes facing tenants, the VAT cut and the business rates relief.