Results 121–140 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Decision Time (24 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I would have voted for the bill. I did not get the pin number.

Scottish Parliament: Tourism Businesses (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: As is outlined in the Scottish Government’s strategic framework, from 2 November, grants of £2,000 or £3,000, depending on rateable value, will be available for businesses that are required by law to close. Hardship grants of £1,400 or £2,100, depending on rateable value, will also be available for businesses that remain open but are directly impacted by restrictions. Those grants,...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism Businesses (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Of course, the travel guidance has an impact in preventing people from the central belt from travelling furth thereof, so the available market for hotels and visitor attractions outwith the central belt is diminished as a result. In addition, the fact that there has been a lockdown in England has substantially reduced the market. To answer Ms Fee’s question, thus far, we have made a...

Scottish Parliament: Tourist Attractions (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: As part of our £2.3 billion package of support to businesses, we have already provided more than £40 million to date, not including provisions through our new £48 million Covid business support as a result of brake restrictions and the strategic framework. I fully appreciate the impact that the pandemic continues to have on the tourism sector. We are continually seeking to find a balance...

Scottish Parliament: Tourist Attractions (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am sorry; I did not hear what you said, Presiding Officer.

Scottish Parliament: Tourist Attractions (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, I did. To answer Ms White, who advocates the interests of visitor attractions, including the magnificent Kelvingrove art gallery in her constituency, I would say that obviously we are sympathetic to the impacts on businesses. Our aim throughout is to provide lifeline support; in other words, to enable businesses to survive through the Covid period, however long it may last. Not knowing...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Tourism Sector Input) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Throughout the pandemic, we have maintained regular contact with the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, UKHospitality and many other tourism business representative bodies and organisations in order to fully appreciate and understand the challenges that they face. For example, in consultation with the industry, we decided to close wet pubs by law in the...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Tourism Sector Input) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We have engaged thoroughly, in depth and repeatedly with business organisations since March. We debated the issue thoroughly yesterday, when the particular proposal that Mr Mason raises was rejected. The Conservatives have failed to provide any detail about what that council would do, what it would comprise, who would serve on it, what its remit would be and who would be excluded therefrom. I...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Tourism Sector Input) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am happy to give an undertaking to Mr Rennie, as I think that I did in the debate yesterday, to consider the issue carefully. We are sympathetic to everyone who has been impacted by Covid to a major extent, and that includes the vast majority of the tourism sector. If Mr Rennie has any more details of what he believes would be appropriate, I am happy to meet him to discuss them. I am always...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Tourism Sector Input) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Mr Gibson has been tireless in his advocacy for his constituents in Arran, for example, who were extremely worried at the beginning of the crisis about the ferry situation, which I think has been ameliorated since then, to some extent, at least. We have launched the £14 million hotel support programme to support businesses and jobs in the hotel sector, and the enterprise agencies are in the...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Tourism Sector Input) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: There is a vast range of circumstances. In general terms, the impact on accommodation providers is likely to be the most significant because of the diminution of customers in the available market and the fact that there is a certain worry that the regulations may be extended, which is causing forward cancellation of accommodation bookings. In the accommodation sector, there is particular...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Tourism Sector Input) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: It has not as yet. I have had five or six conference calls with the UK tourism minister, Nigel Huddleston, and we have a good working relationship. The other devolved Administrations are also on those calls, the most recent of which was towards the end of last week. We have not yet had a response to the task force’s financial proposals to help the sector recover. That includes a request for...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Strategic Framework (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The strategic framework sets out the Scottish Government’s new package of support from 2 November, which will provide grants of up to £3,000 for eligible businesses that are required to close by law, and grants of up to £2,100 for those businesses that remain open but must specifically modify their operations. Those grants will be repayable every four weeks for the duration of the...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Strategic Framework (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We have undertaken detailed engagement with local authorities, including Dundee City Council, on our approach and on the allocation of tiers. We will continue to work with local authorities as far as possible to address any concerns and to identify what further support might be required. The overall budget guarantee was recently increased by £1 billion, which we welcome. That is based on a...

Scottish Parliament: Bed and Breakfasts and Guest Houses (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We have supported bed and breakfasts and guest houses as part of our package totalling more than £2.3 billion. That includes almost £900 million in non-domestic rates relief, £1.3 billion via business grants and a £145 million package for small and medium-sized enterprises and the self-employed. We have also made £3 million available to support bed and breakfasts with no business bank...

Scottish Parliament: Bed and Breakfasts and Guest Houses (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I think that I covered that in part in my original answer, but I reiterate that we are absolutely committed to providing assistance to businesses that require lifeline support. I have already said that accommodation providers, including B and Bs and guest houses, have had a difficult time—there is no doubt about that—and we wish them to survive the crisis. By analysing the Barnett...

Scottish Parliament: Bed and Breakfasts and Guest Houses (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We need to strike a difficult balance between public health and lives and livelihoods. It is sadly the case that the expert health evidence that we have and that is contained in advice given to other Administrations in these islands and given to Governments all across Europe is the same: that people—[ Interruption .] Mr Smyth likes to mutter from a sedentary position, like Mr Mundell, but I...

Scottish Parliament: Bed and Breakfasts and Guest Houses (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I sympathise with the point that Mr McArthur makes, so I will repeat what I said in my original answer. We made £3 million available to support bed and breakfasts that had no business bank account. We have encountered the problem before and we dealt with it. I very much hope, therefore, that that has happened. It follows that if a business has suffered in a particular way, provided that it...

Scottish Parliament: Bed and Breakfasts and Guest Houses (Support) (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I think that I have indicated quite clearly—and, to be fair, to a number of different members— that we are looking at how best we can use the additional Barnett consequentials to meet real need and to help businesses to survive. That is the fundamental principle and if that means that we need to revisit previous decisions, that is something that we should do. It is perhaps better that we...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments Strategy 2020-21 (12 Nov 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Throughout the pandemic, Scotland’s farmers and crofters, their workers and families, and businesses and employees all across the agriculture industry have done what they do best, which is put food on the table. I want to thank everyone in farming and food production for all that they have done for our nation over the past nine months. There is no doubt that agriculture has not been so...


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