Farming News - Mixed response to Govt's roadmap to recovery

Mixed response to Govt's roadmap to recovery

23 Feb 2021
Frontdesk / Finance

CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:“The Prime Minister’s statement gives cause for cautious optimism.  Many tourism businesses are teetering on the edge, but the news that they could reopen in April will come as a huge relief.

“We are all desperate to see family and friends and we are fortunate in this country to have lots of beautiful rural hideaways.  Of course, there is a place for holidays abroad, but with international restrictions likely to be in place perhaps we should see this summer as an opportunity to reinvent the great British summer holiday, and remind ourselves that you don’t have to travel far for a great holiday in a beautiful location.

“But Government must now be brave and unashamedly back British tourism.  The temporary VAT cut for tourism and hospitality businesses helped for a time last year, but the truth is many tourism businesses will continue to be in difficulty for some considerable time.  Making the VAT cut from 20% to 5% permanent for small tourism business would not only rescue the industry in the short term, but allow businesses to grow significantly, creating jobs and adding up to £4.5billion to the economy.”

Ian Wright CBE, FDF Chief Executive said:“It is disappointing but wholly expected that the Prime Minister’s roadmap shows no signs of taking account of any input from business. For a great many of the food and drink manufacturers supplying the hospitality and food service sectors, a return to ‘business as usual’ seems an awful long way off.

"As such, it is only correct that the Chancellor outlines significant extensions to the furlough and credit insurance schemes as part of his Budget announcement next week. The food and drink industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector. It will therefore be key to the country’s economic recovery, with a footprint in every region. Now is the time for government to provide additional support to ensure those businesses most at risk can play their part in putting the country back on its feet.”