Sunak must urgently clarify tourism & transport Covid measures

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, is pressing Chancellor Rishi Sunak for more details on support measures announced for the tourism industry, while criticising a "gaping hole" in his Covid Commons statement, over the future of public transport. 

As part of a new economic package on Coronavirus Sunak told MPs the Government would temporarily cut VAT on hospitality and tourism in a £4bn drive to boost the hard-hit sector. He said VAT will be slashed from 20 % to 5% on accommodation and attractions.

Manuel Cortes said in response: 

"Our union welcomes the announcement of additional support for the tourism industry, but sadly there is no clarity whatsoever on whether this support will be available for our high-street travel shops.

"Jobs are on the line in our travel sector – which before the Covid crisis had been hit by the loss of both Thomas Cook and Flybe – due to a lack of Government action.

"The Chancellor must give more detail for the travel trade – not only to give hope to our members working in high street travel shops, but for the millions involved in the tourism industry more widely.

"I really hope that support for this sector is forthcoming as otherwise our much cherished high street shops may sadly become a thing of the past for many of our communities.

"We are also bitterly disappointed by the gaping hole in the statement with no mention of further support for our public transport networks – even though we know private providers are struggling.

"The Government must bite the bullet and bring our public transport sector back where it belongs – into public ownership without further delay."