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New Government restrictions must come with extra financial support for jobs and businesses, MP tells Parliament

October 7, 2020 1:54 PM

Tim speaking in ParliamentOn the floor of the House of Commons last night, South Lakes MP Tim Farron warned ministers that proposed new COVID restrictions on jobs and businesses must come with financial support to help people to comply.

It is widely reported that the Government are set to introduce a traffic light system for local lockdowns with hospitality and leisure businesses forced to close in areas graded red.

At the moment, businesses that are required to shut because of local lockdowns are given just £1,500 every three weeks. Tim is calling for the Government to extend furlough and the £10,000 grants for businesses that are forced to close.

Speaking during a debate on coronavirus restrictions, Tim said: "If people are going to be expected to be obedient and to comply with restrictions that exist to protect themselves and others, they also have to be able to afford to comply.

"That is my great concern moving forward. If the Government are looking at a traffic light system, which in itself is not a bad idea, that allows there to be blanket closures of the hospitality, tourism and leisure sector in certain towns, boroughs or counties, we surely cannot expect those industries and employers to close down and for there to be no compensation, and no return to furlough for those areas or grant system for those businesses.

"In Cumbria, hospitality and tourism is the biggest single employer. It is the fourth biggest in the country. We cannot, when the traffic light gets to red, expect those businesses to close down completely without compensation. People will not comply with the rules if they fear that they will be unable to pay their rent or mortgage or feed their kids in the process. Let us ensure that the rules that we have are credible, coherent and consistent, and that people can afford to obey them."