To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to provide additional support to the hospitality sector during the most recent covid-19 outbreak.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the support required by the hospitality sector in response to the rise in the number of positive omicron covid-19 cases.
On 21st December, the government announced £1 billion of new grant support to protect jobs and businesses in England from the adverse economic impacts of the Omicron variant. This includes targeted support for the hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors in the form of:
The government has also announced that the devolved administrations will receive £860 million of up-front funding, to help them continue their response to Omicron. As the new cash grants are England-only, Barnett consequentials will lead to a total of around £150 million for the devolved administrations: £80 million for Scotland, £50 million for Wales, and £25 million for Northern Ireland.
The government also announced that it is reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to help small and medium-sized employers cover the cost of Covid-related sick absences, covering up to two weeks per employee. This applies UK-wide.
HMRC also stand ready to support any business affected by the coronavirus pandemic through its Time to Pay arrangement. As part of this, businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in particular will be offered the option of a short delay, and payment in instalments, on a case by case basis.
The government is also waiving late filing and late payment penalties for Income Tax Self-Assessment taxpayers, including those in the hospitality and cultural sectors, to support cashflow and ease administrative burdens. Taxpayers will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February, and will not receive a late payment penalty if they pay their tax in full or set up a payment plan by 1 April.
The additional funding announced in December is on top of the generous and wide-ranging support package already in place. Businesses in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors continue to benefit from capped business rates relief at 66% until the next financial year, when a new capped relief of 50% takes effect. Hospitality and tourism businesses also benefit from reduced VAT at 12.5% until the end of March. Businesses in these sectors may also benefit from access to wider economic support, including the Recovery Loans Scheme and protection from eviction if they are behind on rent on their premises.As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. We will continue to respond appropriately and proportionately to the changing path of the virus.