Tuesday 29 September 2020 / 4:58 PM Business / Lucy Powell

Business Minister admits businesses shut out of Government support are still “viable”

In BEIS oral questions today, the Business Minister Paul Scully admitted that businesses in the wedding industry “will be viable businesses in the future”, despite the industry being locked out of the government’s Job Support Scheme.

This undermines the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s stance, which defined “viable” jobs worthy of support as those where at least a third of usual hours are able to be worked. This is impossible for businesses that are still fully or partially shut down to help tackle the virus, including in the wedding, creative, sports and events industries and large parts of the night-time economy.

The Care Minister Helen Whateley said yesterday, “It doesn’t make sense to continue supporting jobs where there simply isn’t work at the moment, we’ve got to support people where they can be working.”

Commenting on the Business Minister Paul Scully’s admission that the wedding industry will in fact be “viable” once the crisis is over, Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers, Lucy Powell, said:

“It is staggering for a government minister to admit that the chancellor is consigning businesses and jobs to the scrap heap that are in fact viable, by failing to give them the support they need to survive.

“These businesses are only shut down or operating at hugely reduced capacity because the government has failed to get a grip of the test, track and trace system so that they can operate safely. They are doing the right thing to tackle the virus and the government must do right by them and help them through the crisis.”