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HU calls for Westminster to ramp up hospitality support

Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

Following Finance Minister Conor Murphy’s announcement of graded levels of grant funding to be made available to those impacted by the latest Covid-19 restrictions, Hospitality Ulster is calling for Westminster to allocate further funding.

“We welcome the news from the Finance Minister Conor Murphy that some financial support will be provided to those in the hospitality sector who have been forced to cease trading after a slow painful rundown of their businesses, post first lockdown,” said Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

“This is a vital move, but the level of financial support is nowhere near enough. Not enough to cover the huge losses that have been incurred already; not enough for hospitality business owners to pay the furlough contribution for their staff; not enough to make a dent in existing supplier bills; not enough to ensure survival for many out the other end.

“We now need the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Treasury to listen up, level up, and stop sitting on their hands. It is clear that they need to get more emergency funding allocated to Stormont so that the Executive and relevant departments have enough money to properly support the sector and that they can get it out to those hospitality businesses who are in dire need.

“One of the most important elements to all this is that Westminster must bring forward a qualifying date for the new Jobs Support Scheme to 16th October as bank accounts are empty, overdrafts are stretched and credit is exhausted. How does the Chancellor even think business owners and employers are even going to make up their contribution to the furlough scheme with nothing left.”

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