Targeted support must include travel trade

Save Travel campaign image with map and suitcase

The Treasury Select Committee is today calling on government to consider targeted extensions to the Job Retention Scheme as part of a range of measures to meet the challenges of economic recovery from coronavirus. TSSA has welcomed the move and said targeted support "has to include the travel trade".

Last month, trade association Abta warned that 90,000 jobs were at risk across the travel trade. Whole firms have gone bust with others, such at Hays Travel and TUI, cutting significant numbers of jobs.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said: "I welcome these recommendations from the Treasury Select Committee as practical steps to help retain jobs and protect the most vulnerable.

"In terms of targeted support, this has to include our travel trade which has been especially hard hit by the devastating combination of lockdown, quarantine rules and confusing changes to rules. Sadly, many jobs have already gone in this sector and without determined action and support from the government, many more jobs will go between now and Spring.

"The Prime Minister said on Wednesday that the latest 'rule of six' measures were 'not intended to be an extra burden to the travel industry' but they clearly are. The government must support those who are being shut down and driven to hardship if we are to successfully beat this virus."

The Committee’s report focuses on the medium-term challenges that have emerged as the economy comes out of lockdown. “One challenge is to target assistance effectively at those businesses and individuals who need it”, said Treasury Committee Chair, Mel Stride MP.

“The key will be assisting those businesses who, with additional support, can come through the crisis as sustainable enterprises, rather than focusing on those that will unfortunately just not be viable in the changed post-crisis economy.”

Recommendations include:
• Chancellor should carefully consider targeted extensions to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
• Government must outline plan for viable SMEs struggling with debt to recapitalise their balance sheets to prevent prolonging the recession
• Government should consider extending the current increased generosity and accessibility of Universal Credit beyond deadline
• Chancellor should set out roadmap for placing Government finances on sustainable footing
• Clear definition and objectives of “levelling up” agenda needed

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