October 2020: News from your local MP
Eating out really did help out
THANK you to everyone who supported our local hospitality businesses through the government’s innovative Eat Out To Help Out scheme over the summer.
A total of 40,000 meals were claimed across the Kingswood constituency. 43 eateries signed up, among 764 in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire and 6,671 across the South West. Over £253,000 was claimed in discounts across Kingswood. On average, each registered restaurant in Kingswood claimed £6.33 average discount per meal.
After a challenging few months because of coronavirus, the scheme has helped to protect jobs locally, with restaurant bookings significantly up on the previous year.
Eat Out to Help Out was just one part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, an ambitious £30 billion strategy to create, protect and support jobs as the country bounces back from coronavirus.
As the local MP, I am pleased that the government will continue to support the hospitality industry with a temporary discount to VAT, from 20% to 5%, until 12 January 2021. This is another part of the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs and we will continue to protect, support and create jobs to ensure we come back stronger as a nation.
As well as heavy discounts and targeted tax cuts, there is also a new job retention bonus, which aims to reward and incentivise employers who bring staff back from furlough with a one-off payment of £1,000 for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021.
For local youngsters, a kickstart scheme will create six-month work placements for those aged 16-24. Funding made available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus other costs. There will also be new payments for businesses for hiring apprentices and new funding for traineeships.
From protecting local jobs and businesses to protecting our precious local environment – I was delighted to participate in the Great British September Clean and lead litter picks across the constituency, from Longwell Green to Emersons Green.
The Great British Spring Clean had been due to happen during March and April, but was delayed because of coronavirus and I would like to thank all those who have given up their time to help keep their local neighbourhoods clean and tidy.