, , , , ,

Stephen Morgan demands Government use £2 billion handed back by supermarkets to help City hospitality firms through Tier 3

Stephen Morgan MP is calling on the government to save pubs and businesses in the hospitality sector suffering due to inadequate support from the government, as up to 375 local businesses will be forced to close from tomorrow.

The Portsmouth South MP has urged the government to use a portion of the £2 billion in business rate relief, that supermarkets have pledged to return to HM Treasury, to establish a Hospitality and High Streets Fightback Fund targeted at those firms that have been hardest hit throughout the crisis.

The official opposition is calling for the remainder to be used to immediately support self-employed people excluded from support throughout this crisis.

Labour is also calling for reform of the Additional Restrictions Grant so that funding is allocated based on which Tier a local area is in and how long they have been in it, to reflect business need.

New figures have revealed that from Saturday 19 December, when Tier 3 restrictions come into force across Portsmouth, an estimated 375 pubs, cafes, restaurants and other hospitality businesses will be closed.

Across the country, 8 out of 10 closed businesses in Tiers 2 or 3 after today will be receiving less support than in the March lockdown.

The intervention from the Portsmouth South representative follows a string of efforts to stand up for struggling hospitality firms and those excluded.

During the pandemic Stephen Morgan MP has repeatedly called on the Chancellor to provide further help for pubs, and raised the ongoing plight of those Excluded from government support in Westminster.

He has hosted roundtable online discussions and visited a number of local businesses to take back concerns to Westminster, raising issues directly in the House of Commons and via parliamentary questions.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“This government’s irresponsible choices have left the UK with the worst recession of major economies, and tens of thousands of businesses are still in limbo. 

Without adequate business support pubs, cafes and restaurants around the country will go bust, taking with them jobs, suppliers and the life’s work of so many. 

“Unless the government acts, the heart and soul of many communities will be ripped away if more is not done to support businesses facing a cash crisis in the crucial Christmas period, when takings over the Winter months are usually critical for pubs.

“The money being repaid by the big supermarkets should be set aside now to stop this wave of insolvencies and support our hardest-hit businesses here in Portsmouth, like pubs and hospitality firms, as well as people who have gone without any extra support for nine months now.”