To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the (a) level of support provided to (i) the hospitality sector and (ii) its supply chains during the third covid-19 lockdown and (b) adequacy of that support in light of the cost of rent and pre-purchased produce.
The Government understands that this is a very challenging time for the UK’s hospitality sector and its supply chain. The Government is constantly reviewing its package of COVID-19 related support, to ensure that any decisions best meet the evolving public health outlook, and at the upcoming Budget the Government will outline the next stages of its plan for jobs to support businesses and families across the UK.
In January, to support businesses through to the Spring, the Chancellor announced one-off top up grants for closed businesses worth up to £9,000. The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions and is to help cover operating costs. This grant support is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK. This grant comes in addition to the Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month for closed businesses.
A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions, such as those businesses in the hospitality supply chain. This funding also comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities.
The Government is also delivering support to the hospitality sector and its supply chain through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which has been extended until April; Government backed finance through loan schemes, ‘Pay as You Grow’ long-term repayments options, a VAT cut, a VAT deferral for up to 12 months, a 12-month business rates holiday; and a moratorium on evictions to protect commercial tenants.