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MP calls on Chancellor to provide package of support for businesses over Christmas

December 16, 2021 5:52 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, urging him to bring forward a package of support to help businesses this Christmas.

Businesses are dealing with an onslaught of cancelled bookings after the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officer advised the public to limit social interactions in the run up to Christmas as the Omicron variant spreads across the UK.

In his letter to the Chancellor, Tim echoed calls from the British Chamber of Commerce for the Government to bring forward a raft of measures to support businesses, including:

  • Reducing VAT for hospitality and tourism to 5%
  • Reinstating 100% business rate relief for retail
  • Reintroducing grants for businesses
  • Reintroducing the furlough scheme

Tim said: "The dramatic spread of the omicron variant will naturally lead to many people deciding to spend much of the Christmas period at home.

"As a result, businesses - especially in the hospitality, leisure, tourism and events sectors - are going to be inundated with cancellations over the next few weeks.

"Christmas and New Year is such an important time for these businesses, so we cannot underestimate the impact this will have on them and the potential of it leading to them closing and staff losing their jobs.

"That's why it's absolutely critical that the Chancellor announces a package of financial support for local businesses today."