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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian Welcomes Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan After Lobbying for Continued Support

September 24, 2020

Julian welcomed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s statement in Parliament today as the Government unveiled their Winter Economy Plan, which has been backed by the CBI and the TUC. Among the package of measures announced today, Julian is particularly pleased to see changes to the repayment terms of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; an extension of the 15% VAT reduction for the tourism and hospitality sectors, and another payment announced from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme after lobbying Ministers on all these issues.

Earlier this month, Julian joined colleagues in writing to the Chancellor to ask for the temporary cut in VAT to be extended beyond January 12th. Since being introduced, the 15% cut in VAT has provided a £4billion catalyst to the economy, benefitting over 150,000 businesses, and helped protect 2.4million jobs. While the innovative Eat Out to Help Out Scheme provided a further boost to York’s hospitality industry, Julian believed that while COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect businesses further support was needed.

Julian has also regularly tabled written questions in response to constituents’ concerns, with written questions in the last month raising the issue of an additional Self-Employment Income Support Scheme payment for musicians, performers and those whose work is still affected by COVID-19, as well as extending the repayment term of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from six to ten years. 

One of the most anticipated announcements today was the unveiling of the Job Support Scheme, which will replace the Job Retention Scheme when it closes at the end of October. The Job Support Scheme will directly support the wages of people in work, giving businesses who face depressed winter demand the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant. Running from November the April, the Government, together with employers, will increase those people’s wages covering two-thirds of the pay they have lost by reducing their working hours.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Julian said:

“Once again my colleague from Richmond has brought forward a great array of forward-thinking proposals which address the new set of challenges we face together over the next few months. It is great to see that the Chancellor has taken on board my requests for specific support for the tourism and hospitality sector that is so vital to York as well as offering an additional payment for self-employed workers whose business is still affected by COVID-19.

Over the last few months I have received many messages of support for the schemes introduced by the Chancellor at the beginning of the pandemic and I have continued to feedback to Ministers the experience on the ground from local businesses to help the Treasury finetune support. 

The Winter Economy Plan will continue to build on the progress we have seen with three consecutive months of solid growth, millions of people having moved off furlough, and consumer spending returning by supporting viable jobs through what will hopefully only be a limited time of depressed demand”