Extension of furlough until March ‘big boost’ for hospitality industry

UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has extended the furlough scheme until the end of March 2021 , which will provide a “big boost” for the on-trade, according to UK Hospitality.

UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has extended the furlough scheme until the end of March 2021

As part of the extended scheme, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to £2,500 to see businesses through the second wave of the pandemic. Firms taking advantage of the scheme will only have to pay the cost of employer national insurance and pension contributions.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, believes that more need to be done in order to protect the on-trade during the second wave of the pandemic

“I’ve always said I would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK, and that has meant adapting our support as the path of the virus has changed. Businesses need certainty and support in the face of a worsening economic backdrop,” Sunak said.

“As we saw from the first lockdown, the economic effects are much longer-lasting for businesses and areas than the duration of any restrictions. To give businesses security through the winter, I believe it is right to go further,” he added.

While UK Hospitality’s chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said the furlough extension will provide a “big boost” to the on-trade, she believes more needs to be done to protect the hospitality industry and ensure its survival after the pandemic.

“Hospitality is facing a tough winter ahead and businesses will need additional support if they are to survive.

“We will need enhanced grant support to keep venues alive and a solution to the ongoing rent debt problem that continues to linger over the sector,” Nicholls said.

“These must come alongside a clear roadmap for a return to business. Without these, the extended furlough scheme alone is not enough to keep hospitality alive and will have been a wasted investment of public funds,” she added.

As reported by Eater London, UK Hospitality wrote to Sunak on Tuesday this week requesting that the furlough scheme be extended to the end of April next year in order to help the struggling hospitality sector through the pandemic, which may have helped to spur on his u-turn decision.

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