Business groups' mixed reaction to Chancellor's mini-budget
Business bosses have had their say on the Chanvelor’s efforts to get the UK economy moving after lockdown.
In his mini-Budget today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a range of measures aimed at protecting jobs and encouraging people to spend, including an extension to the furlough scheme, providing additional funding for apprenticeships and a “Kick Start” scheme to help young people to find work.
And he announced everyone in the UK will receive an “Eat out to Help Out” discount during August to boost the hospitality sector, with customers eating a meal at any participating business, Monday to Wednesday throughout August, entitled to a discount of up to £10 per head.
Sunderland Bid’s Sharon Appleby welcomed the idea: "The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit during lockdown and even though restaurants and bars have been allowed to re-open, the impact of social distancing has meant they are operating at a much smaller capacity.
"The fact that the Government has initiated a scheme which will incentivise people to eat out in local cafes, bars and restaurants is great news and will hopefully give the industry a much needed boost.
"We now really need to encourage people to take advantage of these vouchers and give their continued support to our hospitality sector, but also to remain mindful that it's still very important that they do this in a safe way and continue to abide by the rules."
But North East England Chamber of Commerce assistant director of policy attacked the Chancellor’s statement for a lack of long-tem clarity: “We continue to be dismayed at the lack of detail when it comes to long-term action to ‘level up’ regions such as ours,” he said.
“It was good to see the Chancellor acknowledge how hard the impact of the pandemic has been, and will continue to be, on young people.
“Getting people spending in our great hospitality and leisure businesses is essential, but we would like to see specific support to help them become as safe and resilient as possible.
“The Chancellor’s Statement is too short on long-term strategy. With business confidence extremely fragile we cannot afford to wait too long for action.”