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Support for Hospitality, Tourism and Entertainment

Volume 678: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2020

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on ensuring that businesses in the (a) hospitality and (b) tourism sector receive adequate support during the covid-19 outbreak. (904369)

What fiscal support he is providing to the (a) theatre and (b) entertainment sector during the covid-19 outbreak. (904384)

The Treasury is working extensively with employers, taskforces and industry groups to understand the long-term effects of covid-19 across all key areas of the economy, including the artistic, creative, tourism and hospitality sectors. We will continue to monitor the impact of Government support on the economy.

While hotels, hospitality businesses and holiday parks are reopening in my constituency, many businesses fear that this will be a year of three winters. What support are the Government considering beyond what has been delivered so far? In particular, would the Treasury consider the tourism and hospitality sector’s request to cut VAT to 5% for those businesses?

As ever, all taxes are kept under review, and changes are announced at fiscal events. My hon. Friend will be pleased to know that admissions to cultural venues, for example, are already exempt from VAT if they are provided by a local authority or an eligible body, such as a charity. We will continue to review the situation.

Like many other Members, I met this morning members of ExcludedUK and people such as freelancers, many of whom are in the creative industries, who have fallen between the gaps of the different Government schemes. The package that has been announced for the creative industries is welcome, but what will the Government do to support the many thousands of people in those industries, including in Cardiff South and Penarth, who have fallen between the gaps?

The UK continues to have one of the world’s most generous coronavirus support schemes, including for many self-employed people such as those to whom the hon. Gentleman refers. He will know that the Government recently announced a £1.57 billion cultural fund, and such funds are being targeted at the very people he mentions.