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No further support for hospitality and tourism will be death warrant for the entire industry, MP tells Parliament

June 30, 2020 4:20 PM

Last night on the floor of the House of Commons, South Lakes MP Tim Farron warned the Government that failure to extend support for the hospitality and tourism sector through the winter will see thousands of jobs and businesses collapse.

MPs were debating Tim's amendment to the Business and Planning Bill which called for a review into the impacts the Bill would have on the sector, to take into account options such as an extension of the furlough, grants and loans schemes until 2021.

Speaking during the debate, Tim said: "Tourism and hospitality is a special case. It is a special case because, for many parts of the country, and especially the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the rest of South Cumbria in my constituency, it operates on a seasonal basis-on a feast and famine basis.

"The reality is that COVID-19 kicked in at the end of the winter, so there was famine and then the feast was cancelled. October, the month when the Government support for this industry and others will end, is the beginning of the next famine.

"We have to be very clear about this: if we say to the hospitality and tourism industry that, having missed out on its feast, it has to survive on its own two feet after October, we will simply be signing the death warrant of an entire industry right across this country."

In response the Housing minister Christopher Pincher said: "The honourable member for Westmorland and Lonsdale spoke very eloquently about the importance of supporting the hospitality and leisure sector, particularly in rural economies as wintertime approaches.

"I remind him that the tools that we have put in place already, such as the job retention scheme, are only temporary. There may be other, more effective and more sensible long-term tools to support the economic sectors to which he referred."

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "The minister's mention of 'long-term tools' to help the industry sounded positive, but vague promises are of no use when businesses need certainty.

"If the Government are serious about protecting our economy then we need to see concrete action to save the country's 4th biggest employer.

"We will carry on campaigning!"