Covid-19: Support for Hospitality

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 9th February 2021.

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Photo of Rachel Hopkins Rachel Hopkins Labour, Luton South

What steps his Department is taking to support the hospitality industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

As part of the Government’s unprecedented package of business support, worth £285 billion, hospitality businesses have access to the coronavirus job support scheme, grants, loans, reduced VAT, a business rates holiday and a moratorium on commercial evictions. We keep those and all support under review.

Photo of Rachel Hopkins Rachel Hopkins Labour, Luton South

I draw the House’s attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

It is Heart Unions Week, and I am pleased that Unite the union has published a hospitality and tourism recovery plan that outlines how the Government could safeguard jobs, protect working standards and rescue the sector. Does the Minister agree that it is important that the Government should work closely with trade unions and hospitality businesses to create a sector recovery strategy and that extending the job retention scheme, introducing rapid testing for hospitality staff and creating a hospitality commission to retrain workers would provide the sector with certainty to help bounce back better?

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

I thank the hon. Lady. We work with the sector and also with trade unions; I am in constant discussions with them about their various sectors. Yes, it is important that we work together with the hospitality sector on reopening it, allowing it to recover and growing its resilience. I am talking not just about the support; given the 12.3 million vaccinations that have gone out to date, we will soon be able to reopen the hospitality sector and allow it to bounce back.