Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has called on the Scottish Government to respect the will of the Scottish Parliament and urgently present its plans for extra financial aid for hospitality and tourism businesses.
This follows the motion submitted by Scottish Labour that was passed by the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday. The motion called for extra financial support to be given to businesses within the hospitality and tourism sectors. These businesses have been hit particularly hard by the continued coronavirus restrictions on travel and socialising.
Jackie Baillie raised the concerns of local hoteliers, restaurateurs, pub and B&B owners who have seen a significant drop in their revenue as a result of the ongoing COVID-10 crisis. Many businesses are struggling to pay staff and, despite not officially being forced to completely close, are not finding it financially viable to stay open. This has also had a profound impact on supply chain businesses locally that provide goods and services to the hospitality and tourism sector.
Jackie Baillie has consistently called for sector specific support to be given to these businesses and chairs regular meetings with the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Fergus Ewing, and local hospitality business owners to allow them to get their views across to the government.
The Scottish Government has received additional resources from the UK government in the last week giving them some £1billion which could be allocated to businesses now.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“Our local economy relies heavily on hospitality and tourism and I know the last few months have been incredibly hard for all the local people who have a stake in these sectors.
“Not only is the Scottish Government disrespecting the will of the parliament by not responding to this motion, its inaction is a real slap in the face to the many hospitality and tourism business owners who are not sure how much longer they can survive – many of whom have not yet been eligible for a penny of support. The Scottish Government has £1billion sitting in the bank – lets get that out to stop businesses from going to the wall.
“These sectors are going to continue to struggle long after other sectors have begun to recover. The Scottish Government must act now to avoid the permanent closure of many much-loved local businesses, and the loss of livelihoods.”