Sunday Mirror


- GAG Poster by artist Hay­den Kays in London BY ALAN SELBY and STEPHEN HAY­WARD Alan.selby@sun­daymir­ Business · Boris Johnson · Campaign for Real Ale · United Kingdom · Channel 4 · Manchester · Institute of Economic Affairs · Emma McClarkin · British Retail Consortium · Layla Moran · International Energy Agency

THE sec­ond na­tional lock­down could “oblit­er­ate” the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor and cost the econ­omy up to £8bil­lion a fort­night.

Al­though Boris John­son last night an­nounced that the fur­lough scheme will be ex­tended into De­cem­ber, business groups fear it may not be enough.

The Government’s £50bil­lion fur­lough scheme – which cov­ers 80 per cent of em­ploy­ees’ wages – was due to fin­ish yes­ter­day.

But there are con­cerns thou­sands of land­lords may still be forced out of business in the run-up to Christ­mas, which is tra­di­tion­ally one of their busiest times.


The cost of a sec­ond lock­down to the econ­omy has been es­ti­mated at up to £8bil­lion ev­ery two weeks, by the In­sti­tute of Eco­nomic Af­fairs think-tank.

It is feared that one in four pubs, restau­rants and hos­pi­tal­ity firms could go bust as a re­sult.

Camra’s na­tional chair­man Nik An­tona said the sec­ond lock­down was “a dev­as­tat­ing blow for an in­dus­try that is cur­rently on its knees”.

“Pubs have al­ready in­vested thou­sands to re­open Covid- safe en­vi­ron­ments de­spite fac­ing se­ri­ously re­duced in­comes. The new lock­down couldn’t come at a worse time,” he said.

“The Government must in­tro­duce a ro­bust sup­port pack­age for all pubs and brew­eries – re­gard­less of their cur­rent rate­able value.

“While an ex­ten­sion to the fur­lough scheme is wel­comed, it does not go far enough.

“We need more de­tails of how much sup­port will be of­fered along with a clear roadmap out of lock­down to en­sure lo­cal jobs and busi­nesses are not lost for­ever.”

Emma McClarkin, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Bri­tish Beer and Pub As­so­ci­a­tion, said the lock­down “would be hugely dam­ag­ing” and “des­tine thou­sands of our pubs and jobs to com­plete oblit­er­a­tion”.

And Gary For­rest, chief ex­ec­u­tive of north east hos­pi­tal­ity chain, the High Street Group, told how he feare feared the fes­tive sea­son was go­ing to be a “dis­as­ter”. He said: “Peo­ple are try­ing to book Christ­mas par­ties, we don’t know if we can ac­cept them. It’s tend­ing towards be­ing a to­tal dis­as­ter.

“The hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try can­not af­ford to have a poor De­cem­ber.”

The warn­ings come as images of pan­icbuy­ing emerged, with shop­pers stock­pil­ing toi­let rolls and other es­sen­tials in scenes sim­i­lar to those ex­pe­ri­enced in

March. He­len Dick­in­son, chief of the Bri­tish Re­tail Con­sor­tium, also warned that the re­tail sec­tor would be fac­ing a “night­mare be­fore Christ­mas”.

She told how the sec­ond lock­down would cause “un­told dam­age to the high street, cost count­less jobs, and set back the re­cov­ery of the wider econ­omy, with only a min­i­mal ef­fect on the trans­mis­sion of the virus”.

Ms Dick­in­son added: “The pre­vi­ous lock­down cost ‘non-es­sen­tial’ shops £1.6bil­lion a week in lost sales.

“Now that we are en­ter­ing the al­limpor­tant Christ­mas shop­ping pe­riod, th­ese losses are cer­tain to be much big­ger.

“The Government must play its part, pro­vid­ing sup­port to busi­nesses forced to close, oth­er­wise the con­se­quences for re­tail will be dire.”

TUC chief Frances O’Grady said any new lock­down “will only work if peo­ple aren’t wor­ried about their liveli­hoods”.

And Layla Mo­ran, chair of the all­party MPs’ group on coro­n­avirus, urged the Government to “break the cy­cle of ‘ boom and bust’ lock­downs”.

She added: “Only when the whole of the UK is Covid-se­cure will we be able to save lives long-term, re­store con­fi­dence, se­cure jobs and open up the econ­omy sus­tain­ably.”

Long-term un­em­ploy­ment fell to be­low 300,000 ear­lier this year, or less than one per cent of the work­force.


But the IEA fears a sub­stan­tial por­tion of the 1.6 mil­lion peo­ple who reg­is­tered for out-of-work ben­e­fits dur­ing the first lock­down could be left on the scrapheap for years to come.

The youngest and old­est work­ers will bear the brunt of the com­ing jobs dis­as­ter, ac­cord­ing to the Learn­ing and Work In­sti­tute think tank.

It says work­ers in man­u­fac­tur­ing, con­struc­tion, re­tail and whole­sale will be worst hit, with lower-skilled staff par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble if pat­terns from pre­vi­ous re­ces­sions are re­peated.

This week, Chan­nel 4’s Dis­patches high­lights the ex­ist­ing job cri­sis, fol­low­ing a job ad­vert for a min­i­mum wage server at Manchester res­tau­rant, Peru Perdu.

Nor­mally a job like this would get 20 to 30 ap­pli­cants – but 947 ap­plied.

Re­cruiter Abi Dunn said: “It’s a real in­di­ca­tion of where the sec­tor is at.

“There’s man­agers ap­ply­ing for roles, cabin crew ap­ply­ing, there’s peo­ple from lots of dif­fer­ent sec­tors.”

Bri­tain is al­ready head­ing for its big­gest bud­get deficit – where yearly spend­ing out­strips tax re­ceipts – since the Sec­ond World War, due to the soar­ing costs of the pan­demic.

An­nual bor­row­ing is ex­pected to hit £320bil­lion by April – al­most £5,000 a year for ev­ery man, woman and child in the UK.

 ??  ?? RUN­NING ON EMPTY Kirk­gate Mar­ket in Leeds yes­ter­day
RUN­NING ON EMPTY Kirk­gate Mar­ket in Leeds yes­ter­day
 ??  ?? STOCK­ING UP Shop­pers at Costco in Manchester
STOCK­ING UP Shop­pers at Costco in Manchester

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