Chancellor's summer statement gives food for thought in Lancashire

The Chancellor’s eat all you can summer statement has brought some relief for hard hit tourism and hospitality businesses in Lancashire.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 7:00 am

Although the half price meals offer has been greeted with surprise, the VAT relief on the hospitality sector has been welcomed along wiht moves to get young people employment.

But many groups say more should be done.

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of visitor sector group Marketing Lancashire said: “We very much welcome the announcements made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, particularly related to the VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sector and the ‘eat out to help out’ initiative.

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A temporary cut in teh rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism businesses has been welcomed

“The former is one that the industry has been calling for since before Covid-19 hit, and which we have been shouting even louder for of late. The cut from 20 per cent to five per cent is good news, but as ever, we await the detail.

“We also have to express our concern that this cut is only in place for six months, through to January 2021. It should be in place for at least the next nine months, to really help the industry through the winter.

“That consumers are to be given a 50 per cent discount to eat out on Mondays to Wednesdays during August is, I confess, not something that we have been calling for.

“It is an interesting and unusual intervention.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies

"We very much hope it drives further custom to our pubs, cafes and restaurants on those quieter early-week nights, so that more people can experience the quality of our offer and the warmth of our welcome.”

Reacting to the Kickstart scheme to get young people into work, Northern Powerhouse Partnership Director Henri Murison said: “The numbers of unemployed 16-24 year olds in the Northern Powerhouse are some of the highest in the country.

“We need to see the young unemployed getting experience in leading capabilities like energy, health innovation, advanced manufacturing and digital as well as creative industries that have secure longer-term prospects.”

British Chambers of Commerce director general Dr Adam Marshall said: “Businesses will celebrate many of the Chancellor’s announcements today, although it is likely that the scale of the stimulus needed to help the UK economy restart, rebuild and renew will need to be greater still over the coming months.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak

"Targeted measures to help young people gain work experience are welcome, and, so too is the focus on a greener recovery and the acceleration of key infrastructure projects.

“Over the coming weeks the Chancellor will also need to address the ticking clock on a number of other key concerns - including the end of business loan schemes.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Kickstart is a good first step. But if the government allows vital industries to go the wall, unemployment will surge and the recession will last far longer.

"Mass unemployment is now the biggest threat facing the UK, as shown by the thousands of job losses at British Airways, Airbus and elsewhere. The government must do far more to stem the rising tide of redundancies. We can’t afford to lose any more good skilled jobs."

Rachel McQueen

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “The tourism businesses I have spoken to in Fylde wanted to see a VAT cut to help them get up and running again and I am delighted to see it cut from 20 per cent to five per cent on food, accommodation and attractions.

“I am also pleased to see the £2bn scheme to create thousands of jobs for young people, as well as the £1,000 job retention bonus for businesses who bring their furloughed employees back to work.”