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MPs publish government recommendations to help re-start businesses

Published:  11 June, 2020

A cross-party group of MPs has delivered a number of recommendations outlining how governments across the UK can best support businesses in restarting and rebuilding after the Covid-19 crisis in a new report.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism’s (APPG) report - Pathways to Recovery - recommends cutting tourism VAT by 10%, an overhaul of the business rates system and the creation of an autumn Bank Holiday.

Published today by UK Hospitality, it also recommends a review of the 2 metre social distancing rule, which is critical to the viable reopening of the majority of businesses, while also emphasising that urgent action is required on rents.  

The report follows an inquiry by the APPG, chaired by Steve Double MP, which collected testimony and written evidence from over 350 businesses, trade bodies and students’ unions. 

Referring to hospitality and tourism, the report states how "a false start” to re-opening those sectors would be “devastating”, also highlighting the "scale of the damage” done to both, said Double. 

“These are two of the most important parts of our economy and our inquiry has highlighted the importance of supporting these vital sectors in both the immediate and long-term,” he said.

While the support provided to the sector so far had been “very welcomed, we are under no illusions that the path to recovery will be tough”, he added. 

“This report and its recommendations provide the government with a blueprint for supporting businesses. There is every reason to believe that businesses can bounce back if they have the correct support from Westminster and devolved governments.”

Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality chief executive, added: “Hospitality and tourism were some of the first sectors to take a noticeable hit, even before lockdown began. The reality is that these sectors will also be two of the last to fully emerge and it will take time for employers to get back up to anywhere near full speed. 

“If the government is positive and decisive in delivering support for these sectors, then the job will be made much easier. Businesses will be saved and jobs all around the country kept secure.”

Earlier this week, UK Hospitality urged the government to provide fiscal support to overcome the stand-off between landlords and tenants over unpaid rent.