Prime Minister's statement offers 'cautious optimism'

23 February 2021

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has given a cautious welcome to the Prime Minister’s statement on the reopening of the economy.

CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:

“The Prime Minister’s statement gives cause for cautious optimism.  Many tourism businesses are teetering on the edge, but the news that they could reopen in  April will come as a huge relief.

“We are all desperate to see family and friends and we are fortunate in this country to have lots of beautiful rural hideaways.  Of course there is a place for holidays abroad, but with international restrictions likely to be in place perhaps we should see this summer as an opportunity to reinvent the great British summer holiday, and remind ourselves that you don’t have to travel far for a great holiday in a beautiful location.

“But Government must now be brave and unashamedly back British tourism.  The temporary VAT cut for tourism and hospitality businesses helped for a time last year, but the truth is many tourism businesses will continue to be in difficulty for some considerable time.  Making the VAT cut from 20% to 5% permanent for small tourism business would not only rescue the industry in the short term, but allow businesses to grow significantly, creating jobs and adding up to £4.5billion to the economy.”