To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) adequacy and (b) effectiveness of Government support for hospitality businesses during the covid-19 outbreak; and whether businesses that were ineligible for Government covid-19 support during the first national lockdown may be eligible for support retrospectively.
13 January 2021
The Government understands that this is a very challenging time for the UK’s hospitality sector, and it recognises that the hospitality sector has been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Throughout the crisis the Government’s priority has been to protect lives and livelihoods. The Government has acted to deliver support to this sector through:
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which has supported 1.4 million jobs across the hospitality sector, and has been extended until the end of April 2021.
- Businesses forced to close can claim grants of up to £3,000 per month. In addition, on 5th January, the Government announced an extra £4.6 billion to protect jobs and support affected businesses as restrictions get tougher. This includes retail, hospitality and leisure businesses forced to close can claim a one-off grant of up to £9,000. Businesses can receive multiple grants, as they are eligible on a per premises basis. The Government expect over 600,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure business premises in England to benefit from these grants.
- Local Authorities (in England) will also be given an additional £500 million of discretionary funding to support their local businesses. This builds on the £1.1 billion discretionary funding which local authorities in England have already received to support their local economies and help businesses impacted.
- An additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2, 3 and 4 who missed out on business during the busy Christmas period.
- A VAT deferral for up to 12 months.
- Access to affordable, Government backed finance through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBLS) for and larger firms, along with the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises.
- A reduced rate of VAT (5 per cent) to goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sectors.
- A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England, saving around 350,000 ratepayers a combined £10bn.
These measures have kept people in work, supported their incomes and supported businesses, delivering one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support globally. However, as measures to control the virus change, it is right that Government support should also evolve. The Government keeps all policies under review, and will continue to work with businesses and representative groups to inform our efforts to support the hospitality sector.