Coventry MP urges Government to support hospitality industry

Zarah Sultana MP has called for an extension to the furlough scheme on a sectoral basis to avoid large-scale redundancies into the winter months.

Pictured: Zarah Sultana MP in her official parliamentary portrait.

In the House of Commons last week, the Labour MP for Coventry South, Zarah Sultana, called for more financial support for the hospitality industry in Coventry.

Ms Sultana urged the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to act “otherwise people will be pushed into unemployment and destitution and businesses will be forced into bankruptcy.”

Ms Sultana said: “Public health must be our first priority, but new restrictions on pubs, bars and restaurants need to be accompanied by new economic support for workers and businesses.

“So on behalf of hospitality workers and businesses in Coventry, can I urge the Secretary of State to … bring forward new measures that will actually save jobs, livelihoods and businesses?”

Ms Sultana has repeatedly called for the Government to extend the furlough scheme on a sectoral basis, focused on industries that particularly still need it, such as the hospitality industry.

The scheme, which has supported millions temporarily laid off because of the pandemic, is due to end on 31 October – prompting fears of large-scale redundancies.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the decision to end the furlough scheme is the hardest he’s had to make in his career but insisted it is “not reasonable” to continue the scheme.

Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has backed ending the furlough scheme.

A new Job Support Scheme has been announced to replace the furlough scheme, designed to protect “viable jobs” in businesses which are facing lower demand over the winter months.

Speaking after the statement in the House of Commons, Ms Sultana said:

Commenting after her speech in the House of Commons, Ms Sultana shared her concern that the pandemic is “far from over”, insisting that “we have to do everything we can to stop an unemployment crisis this winter”.