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MP urges Government to commit to 12-month support package for hospitality and tourism in Parliament

May 7, 2020 9:40 AM

During a debate in Parliament last night on the coronavirus pandemic, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged ministers to agree to a 12-month financial settlement to support the UK's hospitality and tourism industry.

In his speech, Tim warned of many businesses being forced to go to the wall and thousands of jobs lost unless Government support continues after the lockdown.

Tim cited a new survey from Cumbria Tourism that found that £1.45 billion of Cumbria's £3 billion tourism economy will have been wiped out by the end of this month.

Speaking during the debate, Tim said: "The problem is that if hospitality and tourism are phased back in in the autumn, having missed out on the feast of the summer months, they will have to try to keep themselves afloat just as the famine of winter begins.

"Additional grants and an extension of the furlough scheme will be needed over the summer, but if that is all we do, the Government will simply be delaying the failure of businesses, the loss of jobs and the hardship and misery of the families of the south lakes.

"I will not stand for that, and I hope that Ministers will not do so either.

"That is why I urge the Government to protect this vital industry by committing to a 12-month ​funding settlement for tourism and hospitality so that they can survive the winter and be ready to lead the revival in the spring of 2021."

In response the health minister Edward Argar agreed that hospitality and tourism 'play such a huge part in the local community and economy', and that the Chancellor 'is looking carefully at the matter' and 'will have heard' Tim's case.