Gov must take decisive action to provide relief for sector

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Inconsistent behaviour: NTIA states Government must take decisive action in introducing relief for the sector following its actions during lockdown (Credit: Andrew Parsons Via No 10 Downing Street Flickr)
Inconsistent behaviour: NTIA states Government must take decisive action in introducing relief for the sector following its actions during lockdown (Credit: Andrew Parsons Via No 10 Downing Street Flickr)

Related tags: Government, Coronavirus, Legislation, Health and safety

Government must take decisive action in introducing relief, such as a reduction of VAT, for the hospitality sector following the exposure of its actions during lockdown, the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) has stated.

This comes as civil servant Sue Gray, yesterday (Wednesday 25 May) published her final report after investigating the parties in and around Parliament during the pandemic.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill said: “It seems somewhat surreal that, in the middle of a cost inflation crisis​, and following two years of restrictions and lockdowns, the very Government that implemented these trading conditions have been exposed for their actions within the report submitted by Sue Gray.”

Inconsistent behaviour  

The report consisted of 37 pages including nine photographs of the gatherings in which members of Parliament, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, were accused of breaking lockdown​ restrictions on several occasions.  

Gray stated the public would be “dismayed behaviour of this kind took place on this scale at the heart of government” and labelled the parties as “inconsistent” with the rules at the time, which for the hospitality sector included closures, 10pm curfews and table service as well as having to enforce the use of face masks and two metre social distancing within venues.

Furthermore, several operators suffered fines​ and penalties​ for breaches​ of the rules at that time, while many have been left dealing with covid debt amid soaring costs​ across the board.

The Prime Minister stated yesterday he had taken full responsibility for the events detailed in Gray’s report but maintained the civil servants and advisors in attendance at the parties, some of whom have received fines, are good, hard-working people and asked MPs to move on and focus on the priorities of the British people.  

Public confidence lost 

Kill added: “It goes without saying trust and public confidence​ has been lost.

"Given current challenges around trading conditions and escalating operating costs​, the Government must now take decisive action.

“The introduction of immediate reliefs, including the reduction of VAT for the hospitality sector back down to 12.5% and an energy cap​ for businesses, are desperately needed before we are swamped with untenable costs at the cost of further closures and job losses.”

Related topics: Legislation

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