Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called on the government to ensure a long-term programme to protect jobs in the seasonal economy. Speaking in the House of Commons Mr Carmichael noted the risk to jobs from “three winters in a row” due to the reduction in tourism and asked for special consideration to be made for these industries.
Mr Carmichael said:
“The position for people in the visitor economy in my constituency is a particularly acute one due to the highly seasonal nature of the trade that we have – it’s described to me as being like three winters in a row.
“Will she prosecute the case within government that for some industries in some areas, if they are going to have a viable future at all, then there will need to be special consideration?”
Responding for the government, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Thérèse Coffey said:
“As my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for DCMS has said, we are looking to get the tourism sector up and running and extending it as long as we can. We’ll be investing heavily, ensuring we have a major campaign to encourage British people to take British staycations.”
Reacting after the exchange, Mr Carmichael said:
“Prevention is better than cure when it comes to the economic damage of job losses and that is still more true of our vibrant yet fragile economy in the isles. We need to do everything to prevent economic crisis turning into an employment crisis and this is another reason why the government should consider a cut in tourism VAT.”