The Future of Aviation Group

Along with a group of cross-party MPs, I have written a letter to the Chancellor urging him to agree a customised and flexible extension to the furlough scheme for the aviation, travel and tourism industries.

The letter has been organised by Henry Smith MP and The Future of Aviation Group. In the letter, the parliamentarians call on the Chancellor to consider the exceptional circumstances facing these sectors.  They emphasise that these sectors will take significantly longer than other industries to recover and specifically call on the Chancellor to agree an extension to the furlough scheme to support the millions of jobs involved.

 “Our aviation, travel and tourism industries have been amongst the worst affected by the coronavirus and will take far longer to recover than most sectors.

“Aviation is an economic enabler and it will be central to rebuilding our economy. The Government must extend the coronavirus job retention scheme beyond October to support the millions of jobs in these sectors and to allow them to play their full role in our economic recovery.

“Cutting off this support before these sectors have been able to recover will have disastrous consequences for everyone in the country.”

 

 

Copy of final letter

Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer

HM Treasury

1 Horse Guards Road

London SW1A 2HQ

 

5th June 2020

 

Dear Chancellor

 

We are writing to you regarding your Friday 29th May announcement relating to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Whilst we welcome the Government’s efforts to support the economy through the COVID-19 crisis utilising a variety of measures, we believe that more must be done to support the aviation, travel and tourism industries and its employees.

 

As you will know, businesses in these sectors have been amongst the worst affected by the pandemic and their recovery will take significantly longer than other sectors, with studies showing that international passenger numbers may not return to 2019 levels for a significant period.

 

Our aviation, tourism and travel industries are key to our long-term economic recovery and are a major economic enabler both locally, regionally and nationally. The air transport, travel and tourism sectors support over 4 million jobs in the UK, jobs which remain under pressure as a result of the impacts of the pandemic.

 

In your statement, you set out that there would be no general extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme beyond October. We urge you to reconsider that position for aviation, travel and tourism, which have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

We request that you engage with the sector, the businesses that depend on it, employment representatives and trade unions to agree a customised flexible extension to the scheme that considers the exceptional circumstances that aviation and its associated industries face.

 

Such an extended and customised scheme for this sector will be essential to allowing our world class aviation sector to recover and play its full part in helping the overall UK economy to move forward.

 

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with you further and how you can support such a vital part of the UK’s economic recovery.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Henry Smith

Member of Parliament for Crawley

Chair, Future of Aviation Group

 

Catherine McKinnell

Member of Parliament for Newcastle North

Vice Chair, Future of Aviation Group

Gavin Newlands

Member of Parliament for Paisley & Renfrewshire North

Vice Chair, Future of Aviation Group

Gavin Robinson

Member of Parliament for Belfast East

Vice Chair, Future of Aviation Group

Sir David Amess, Member of Parliament for Southend West

Steve Baker, Member of Parliament for Wycombe

Peter Bone, Member of Parliament for Wellingborough

Steven Bonnar, Member of Parliament for Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill

Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw, Member of Parliament for Exeter

Alan Brown, Member of Parliament for Kilmarnock & Loudoun

Amy Callaghan, Member of Parliament for East Dunbartonshire

Sarah Champion, Member of Parliament for Rotherham

Joanna Cherry, Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South West

Geraint Davies, Member of Parliament for Swansea West

Rt Hon Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, Member of Parliament for Lagan Valley

Dave Doogan, Member of Parliament for Angus

Allan Dorans, Member of Parliament for Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock

Richard Drax, Member of Parliament for South Dorset

Colum Eastwood, Member of Parliament for Foyle

Dr Stephen Farry, Member of Parliament for North Down

Margaret Ferrier, Member of Parliament for Rutherglen & Hamilton West

Sir Roger Gale, Member of Parliament for North Thanet

Patricia Gibson, Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire & Arran

Paul Girvan, Member of Parliament for South Antrim

Neale Hanvey, Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath

Rt Hon Harriet Harman, Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham

Drew Hendry, Member of Parliament for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey

Rt Hon Sir George Howarth, Member of Parliament for Knowsley

David Linden, Member of Parliament for Glasgow East

Carla Lockhart, Member of Parliament for Upper Bann

Jack Lopresti, Member of Parliament for Filton & Bradley Stoke

Jonathan Lord, Member of Parliament for Woking

Tim Loughton, Member of Parliament for East Worthing & Shoreham

Kenny MacAskill, Member of Parliament for East Lothian

Angus Brendan MacNeil, Member of Parliament for Na h-Eileanan an Iar

Seema Malhotra, Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston

Jason McCartney, Member of Parliament for Colne Valley

Mark Menzies, Member of Parliament for Fylde

Carol Monaghan, Member of Parliament for Glasgow North West

Ian Paisley, Member of Parliament for North Antrim

Dr Dan Poulter, Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk & North Ipswich

Virendra Sharma, Member of Parliament for Ealing Southall

Alyn Smith, Member of Parliament for Stirling

Dr Ben Spencer, Member of Parliament for Runnymede and Weybridge

James Sunderland, Member of Parliament for Bracknell

Giles Watling, Member of Parliament for Clacton

Dr Philippa Whitford, Member of Parliament for Central Ayrshire

Rt Hon Sammy Wilson, Member of Parliament for East Antrim

Mohammad Yasin, Member of Parliament for Bedford