On Wednesday in Parliament Gerald Jones, Shadow Minister for Wales and MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, called on the UK Government to take urgent action to extend its furlough scheme for the tourism and hospitality sectors in Wales, to safeguard jobs and prevent further losses in the industry.
Wales’ tourism and hospitality sectors have been some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and although financial support from the Welsh Government as well as the UK Government’s furlough scheme have protected thousands of jobs in the industry, many have still been lost due to the immense pressure that the pandemic has forced on businesses.
Although both sectors are now beginning a phased reopening of services in Wales, it is still expected to be a very difficult year for businesses, with significant uncertainty around the future of jobs in tourism following the end of the tourist season.
While £10 million from the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund has helped safeguard 4,500 jobs in the industry during the pandemic so far, the UK Government’s furlough scheme is due to end in October which could put many thousands more at risk, and in Wales Questions on Wednesday Gerald urged the Government to extend the scheme for the tourism and hospitality sectors in Wales and prevent further losses.
Speaking on Wednesday in Parliament, Gerald said:
“As we know, the tourism and hospitality sector has been hit very hard by this pandemic, and despite the best efforts of operators across Wales, this year will be a very difficult one for those in the industry.
“Can the Secretary of State get the Government to act now and extend the furlough scheme to the tourism sector to avoid workers facing a cliff edge later in the year?”