The Government must act urgently to protect Calderdale’s pubs, shops and leisure in the face of the impact of uncertainty about future restrictions. That’s the call made by Calderdale Council Leader Tim Swift in an urgent letter to Rishi Sunnak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Cllr Swift says:
“The limited restrictions announced so far by the Government, combined with the clear advice that people need to reduce their social contacts in the light of the Omicron variant, is already having a huge effect on retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. They are facing massive uncertainty at what should be their busiest time of the year.
“Most members of the public are acting responsibly in the face of the threat of a further wave of Covid-19, but this is leading to a loss of income, bookings and sales across these vital sectors. And the effects are quickly being felt too amongst the many self-employed and small businesses who support these sectors.
“The position has been made worse by yesterday’s failure to make a decision on further restrictions after Christmas. How can any of these businesses plan ahead in these circumstances?”
Cllr Swift is backing West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin’s call for four actions –
- A further extension of the VAT reduction for hospitality;
- Extending business rate relief;
- Reintroducing a limited furlough scheme for affected businesses; and
- Bringing back a Local Restrictions Support Grant for affected businesses.
“We believe that these are reasonable, proportionate and vital actions to address the immediate crisis. We need to Chancellor to consider and act to provide businesses with assurance about their future.”