Ed Miliband calls for High Street Fightback Fund in the wake of Tier 4

Ed Miliband calls for Hospitality and High Street Fightback Fund in the wake of Tier 4 restrictions
"We need these businesses on the other side of the crisis but the support is hopelessly inadequate, and the Business Secretary seems to be asleep at the wheel," Ed Miliband says.
// Labour calls on government to support businesses forced to close under Tier 4 measures
// Ed Miliband says “Ministers must urgently boost support for closed businesses through a Hospitality and High Street Fund to save businesses and jobs now”
// Labour suggests government redeploys £2bn returned to them from supermarkets over business rates relief

On Tuesday night Labour issued a call for the government to “stand up for businesses and ensure those hit by unexpected Tier 4 restrictions” with the proposal of a Hospitality and High Street Fightback Fund.

In a report on Labour’s website, the party argued that almost 175,000 businesses across Tier 4 areas in London, the South East and the East of England have been affected by last-minute instructions to close, including more than 13,000 hairdressers and beauty salons, more than 8,600 gyms and leisure centres, and more than 45,000 retail businesses including clothes shops, homeware and book shops.


READ MORE: New Tier 4 restrictions to cost retailers £4 billion in lost trade


They pointed out that many of those businesses had paid for stock or taken final bookings for the Christmas period.

Labour said it is calling for the £2 billion in funding recently returned to the Treasury by supermarkets from their business rates relief to be redeployed into a Hospitality and High Streets Fightback Fund to help struggling businesses on the high street and those excluded from support.

“Businesses are facing a Christmas nightmare on the high street, forced to close at the last minute by Tier 4 restrictions,” Labour shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said.

“Many shops, leisure and beauty businesses just getting back on their feet have had the rug pulled from under them, joining struggling restaurants and pubs already shut.

“Businesses are doing the right thing and closing to keep people safe, but Ministers are not doing the right thing by them. We need these businesses on the other side of the crisis but the support is hopelessly inadequate, and the Business Secretary seems to be asleep at the wheel.

“The government can’t keep leaving businesses in the lurch like this. Ministers must urgently boost support for closed businesses through a Hospitality and High Street Fund to save businesses and jobs now,” Miliband added.

The government’s announcement that it would place large swathes of the south and east of England under a new Tier 4 lockdown came with little warning for retailers last Saturday.

The restrictions closed non-essential shops, which alongside a new lockdown in Wales, is thought to be costing retailers £4 billion in lost trade this Christmas.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Forget the politicians, the public should be asked via referendum on whether if they want their taxes to continue propping up businesses that could function fine if it wasn’t for politics interfering. Let the people themselves decide if they want to leave their front door or not, it’s our personal responsibility to take, not for a small clique of politicians to dictate.

    We’ve got a vaccine. There’s the Oxford vaccine and no doubt many more to come. The Government’s sole responsibility should be to roll the vaccines out and get millions vaccinated by May so that our civil liberties and freedoms can be restored. I doubt we have enough money to keep all businesses open with our taxes and that’s why all states are hoarding massive debts, which will take generations to repay.

    The Government exists to regulate shops and businesses and only interfere when it is absolutely essential. It is not there to fund them with our money – especially not before asking the public nationally first.

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