Thank you for contacting me about support for the travel industry.
I fully appreciate your concerns and the seriousness of the situation for the whole UK travel industry, which I recognise is facing real difficulty in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
As the MP for Penrith & The Border, I am doing everything I can in Westminster and Cumbria to address the concerns of my constituents. I am feeding in requests to Government for support for all areas of our economy and community and will continue to do so. Equally, I am feeding in to Government regularly and pushing for more flexibility and breadth in the very welcome support schemes that the Government has introduced during this crisis. Please know that I have pushed for the relevant Departments to recognise and respond to the issues being faced by the travel industry.
I know that the UK Government has been engaging with both the package travel sector and consumer advocacy bodies to assess the impact of cancellations made due to the coronavirus outbreak. I am closely monitoring the situation and taking on board the views of those living and working here in our constituency; equally I am feeding this into Government regularly.
I also want to reassure you that support is available right now for businesses who are struggling. The Government is deferring VAT payments due between now and the end of June, and all businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors are exempt from business rates for 12 months.
In addition, I would also encourage businesses in the travel industry who are facing cashflow and other difficulties to explore the Government-backed loans and guarantees that have been made available. A coronavirus job retention scheme has also been launched too.
The full list of support available can be found through this link:
I appreciate that this is a confusing, worrying and uncertain time; and that although the unprecedented measures introduced so far have been well-received, further clarification of the extent and application of these is still needed. I want to assure you that I will continue to monitor and highlight to Government the concerns brought to me, and to share any new information, as I receive it, via my website. In the meantime, I refer you to the following sites for the most recent Government advice:
Please be assured that the Government is doing everything it can at this difficult and unprecedented time.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me and please keep safe.
With best wishes