The UK government has continued to ignore the struggling tourism and hospitality sectors as it begins winding down the furlough scheme , according to an isles politician.
Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael said that while furlough had protected many workers’ wages through the pandemic, targeted support was now needed to help industries still unable to fully reopen,
Mr Carmichael made his comments as the furlough scheme begins the winding down process – with firms now having to shoulder more of the costs.
“We all know that the level of economic support given to closed-down businesses over the last year and a half cannot last forever and a gradual winding down is better than a cliff-edge,” he said.
“What is concerning, however, is that the government has continued to ignore those of us who have argued for targeted support for those industries that are not being allowed to reopen at the same pace as others.
“Tourism and hospitality are not back to normal yet and indeed will not return to normal any time soon. If we leave these businesses in the lurch – stuck between an economic reality that they cannot operate at full throttle and an expectation that they must stand on their own two feet – then we cannot be surprised if there are unnecessary casualties.
“It will be hard to understand the logic of the furlough scheme if, having supported workers for over a year, we then do not give them proper support to get back to business.”