Speaking to the House of Commons, Chancellor Rishi Sunuk outlined several new measures the UK government was taking to help businesses continuing to struggle during the pandemic, including a six-month Job Support Scheme and an extension to the cut in VAT.
The Chancellor has been criticised, however, for not doing enough to help the crippled hospitality sector. While the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said it welcomed the extension to the VAT cut it added that the reduction needs to be in place for much longer to help the sector recover. It also said that the Job Support Scheme would not help save jobs in the current climate.
“Some elements of the Chancellor’s plan are welcome, but they do not go nearly far enough to save thousands of pubs and jobs that we have highlighted are at serious risk,” commented BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin.
In Scotland, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) described that Chancellor’s announcement as not giving any grounds for optimism.
“Without having the full details, our initial view is that the Chancellor’s introduction of a Jobs Support Scheme and the extension of other initiatives to help businesses are not as far-reaching as we needed, we are very disappointed,” said SLTA managing director, Colin Wilkinson.
Hospitality jobs board Caterer.com has also called on the government to do more to protect jobs.
“Without proper, immediate support, more businesses may be forced to close and the incredible talent we have in the sector may be forced to seek work elsewhere or face becoming unemployed,” noted its director, Neil Pattison.
“With the summer of staycations drawing to a close and Christmas gatherings under threat, we need more creative policy to hold onto hospitality’s workforce.”