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Terrifying unemployment figures shows need for long-term support package for Cumbrian hospitality and tourism industry - MP

May 19, 2020 3:08 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has made fresh calls for a long-term financial support package for hospitality and tourism after shocking new figures revealed that Westmorland and Lonsdale saw the biggest increase of any UK constituency in people claiming unemployment benefit.

Tim's constituency has seen a colossal 312% increase on last year in the number of people having to claim Universal Credit, according to new figures from the Department for Work and Pensions.

In Cumbria, the tourist hotspots of Windermere and Keswick have seen the two biggest ward-level increases.

Meanwhile the claimant count rose by 645 in the Lake District National Park Area, an increase of 297%.

Tim said: "If there was evidence needed on the toll this pandemic would take on Cumbria's hospitality and tourism sector then this it.

"The sad reality is this increase is only set to get bigger when the furlough scheme eventually draws to a close and many workers are made redundant because the business, they work for has been unable to survive.

"We desperately need that long-term financial support from the Government to take this crucial industry into next Spring so we can help businesses get back on their feet and get people back into work."