Our local hospitality sector has had a terrible year. The impact of the pandemic has hit it more than most. I have spent time talking to Ministers about what can be done to support the hospitality industry. The furlow scheme has helped as has the VAT rate reduction and a business rates holiday. In addition monthly grants have been made available and more recently one off grants of up to £9,000.
Yet as we have gone into another lockdown the sector is very fearful of the future. I had many requests to speak yesterday in a debate in Westminster Hall on this. However it then emerged that the Chancellor was making a statement in the House so I decided it would have more impact to raise this with him directly. This followed an online meeting that Rishi attended with local business people from Bournemouth West last November where these concerns were put to him then.
Please watch the exchange between me and the Chancellor where I am sure I spoke for all local MPs yesterday who were not able to be present.