Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today welcomed new measures to support businesses and workers from the government, but warned that too many were still left behind. Highlighting the three million excluded from financial support since the start of the pandemic, Mr Carmichael called on the government to close the gaps and in particular to extend targeted support for the tourism and hospitality sectors which are vital for the Northern Isles.
Mr Carmichael said:
“The extensions to the VAT reduction for hospitality and to self-employment support are welcome and absolutely necessary. I would urge the Chancellor to start planning now for a further extension of hospitality support through to next summer however. Ending the VAT reduction in March risks cutting off the recovery of our tourism sector right when it is ready to grow back strongly.”
“This was another missed opportunity to provide support for those who have been excluded from government help to date. Three million people have still had no financial help from the government during the pandemic, through no fault of their own. After six months it is hard to claim that the government has not had enough time.
“Months ago I warned the government about those who were falling through the gaps in support. Those gaps are not closing but widening. If the government does not take steps to address those left behind then we cannot be surprised if our recovery continues to be slow.”