Kingston Lib Dems have called on the Government for more support for local businesses – especially our pubs, bars and restaurants – as a result of the borough moving into tier 2.
The calls come after the Chancellor announced changes to the Government's Job Support Scheme – a replacement to the Furlough scheme which Lib Dems had argued should be extended beyond this month. However, the changes announced don't go far enough to protect local hospitality sector businesses.
Despite tougher restrictions in Kingston upon Thames that have banned residents from socialising indoors with other households, there has been so far no additional support for local pubs, bars and restaurants which are some of the worst affected businesses under the stricter tier 2 measures.
The Lib Dems in Kingston are also calling for an extra hour to be added to the current curfew, or for it to be scrapped altogether, to help our hospitality sector and to prevent people from spilling out on the streets altogether at 10pm, risking public health.
Ed Davey MP, Kingston & Surbiton, said, "The Government's economic response to covid frankly has been shockingly inadequate, and chopping and changing the whole time means businesses and people can't plan their lives.
"We're calling on the Government to do far more, but also put in place something that's going to last up until the end of next year like other European countries have done."
Cllr Caroline Kerr, Leader of Kingston Council, said, "We know that some sectors have been harder hit than others, and in particular our pubs, bars and restaurants. What they tell us is really crippling them is the 10pm curfew. So we're calling on the Government to extend that, just by an hour, and we think that will help those businesses survive.
"We need these hospitality businesses to be with us for the long-term."