‘Ghost town’ Harlow warning as hospitality and retail firms on brink of going under warns Labour

News / Sun 5th Jul 2020 at 08:17am

LABOUR is warning of our high streets becoming “ghost towns” and many more workers losing their jobs as new figures show tens of thousands of pubs, restaurants and shops falling through the cracks of Government support.

Labour’s analysis of Valuations Office Agency data shows how many firms in hospitality and retail are ineligible for government grants that would allow them to reopen fully. Music venues and mobile caterers who work at festivals and outdoor events are also badly affected.

Despite the Chancellor’s pledge to do “whatever it takes” to support businesses through the crisis, many firms in the sector and supply chains have received no extra help because they have a rateable value above £51,000, despite having some of the highest fixed costs.

Trade association UKHospitality has warned that 320,000 hospitality workers could lose their jobs as businesses scramble to cut costs.

The data reveals:

· More than 83,000 retail, leisure and hospitality businesses have received no grant support from the Government through the coronavirus crisis
· Restaurants, pubs and shops in larger premises in towns in the south east and city centres across the country are most affected
· More than one in five businesses in Dartford, Cambridge, Crawley, Guildford, Milton Keynes, Thurrock, Harlow, Reading and Stevenage are missing out. In some areas of central London, over half of businesses are ineligible

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers Lucy Powell MP said:

“Many people won’t realise that a lot of the hardest hit businesses that won’t be able to reopen fully yet are ineligible for Government support and so are really struggling.

“Unless the Government steps up to save the high street many will become ghost towns, with thousands of workers laid off.

“This is why Labour is calling for a Back to Work Budget that focuses on jobs, jobs, jobs – protecting the ones we have and creating new ones.”

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2 Comments for ‘Ghost town’ Harlow warning as hospitality and retail firms on brink of going under warns Labour:

2020-07-05 09:17:39

It is not surprising the rules for help where badly thought out and have been open to abuse. what should have happened is companies should have been told there was no corporation tax, rates, NI or any taxes applying to them to help them through the period of the lock down. Although personally I do not think the lock down was sensible or legal Opening back up is difficult as the shops are treating people like biological waste it is not a fun experience so people will stick with the intenret. What we have just experienced is a change in how we work and shop, the high street is dead. Many people of furlough are going to be unemployed what comes next is going to be terrible and the government is going to try and help by rising taxes. When it comes to voting, do not vote for any of the lib/lab/con professional politicians they have destroyed this countries economy and freedoms. We need a mbetter way forward which does not include party politics

2020-07-05 11:42:43

That will teach them to allow all the sheds to be built along Edinburgh/Howard way and the same for a lot of towns across the country, the whole planning process and rates system needs a overhaul to rejuvenate the town centre's.

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