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Government Assistance: Coronavirus

Question for Treasury

UIN 37541, tabled on 21 July 2021

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of sector-specific grants for (a) the travel industry and (b) and other industries which have not yet fully reopened during of the covid-19 pandemic.

Answered on

6 September 2021

The Government recognises the challenging circumstances facing the travel industry and other sectors across the economy as a result of Covid-19. Firms experiencing difficulties can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital and flexibilities with tax bills.

The aviation and aerospace sectors are being supported with over £11 billion made available through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility and grants for research and development. In addition, the renewed Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme will provide support for eligible businesses with their fixed costs up to the equivalent of their business rates liabilities for the first half of the 2021-22 financial year, subject to certain conditions and a cap per claimant of £4m.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is a discretionary fund that Local Authorities (LAs) will distribute based on local economic need. However, updated guidance on the ARG ensures it is clear that we encourage LAs to focus their support on those sectors that remain severely impacted by restrictions, including the travel industry. In addition, we extended the deadline for LAs to have spent their existing ARG allocation to 31st July, in order to be eligible for the top-up that was announced at Budget. This ensured more LAs had time to access their top-up, and reassess spending decisions for their remaining allocation, so that they are able to distribute it amongst businesses who remain severely impacted.

Businesses who have received a Restart Grant are also able to apply for grant support through the ARG. Any business who has received a grant through the ARG can also apply for another one. In distributing this support to businesses it is up to each individual LA to use their discretion based on local economic need.

The Government continues to engage closely with sectors across the economy, including the travel industry, to understand their recovery horizons, as the vaccine is rolled out. We will keep under review all the economic support schemes, including grant support, as the public health response evolves.

Answered by

Treasury
Named day
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