21 October 2020
On the approach to local lockdowns and financial support, CBI Director-General, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, said:
“Business is suffering badly from lack of clarity and delayed timing on financial support through lockdown. Support must be made available from the moment any restrictions come into force and be commensurate with their impact.
“Trust between central and local government is fundamental to making lockdowns work. While trust is high in some parts of the country, in others it urgently needs rebuilding.
“With tighter restrictions closing in on many parts of the country, it is completely wrong to make each one its own negotiation. This just wastes vital time and erodes unity.
“The Government urgently needs to move to a more standardised system of support for areas and businesses moving into tiers 2 or 3, with buy-in across all regions.
“Local authorities should receive additional funds so they can target grants to businesses and others most in need. And the Government’s contribution to the new Job Support Scheme should be increased to protect jobs, especially in areas where firms are seeing demand fall away.
“Now is the time to press the reset button. National unity is the only way to defeat the virus and protect our economy.”
On the news that South Yorkshire will enter tier 3 from Saturday, Beckie Hart, CBI Director for Yorkshire and Humber, said:
“Businesses in Yorkshire know public health must come first and recognise that getting a grip on rising infection rates is vital to maintain confidence and avoid further restrictions in the months ahead.
“Yet there is no escaping the impact of the additional restrictions of tier 3. Firms in hard-hit sectors like hospitality, leisure and tourism – and their supply chains – have seen only a limited recovery from the earlier lockdown, and fresh obstacles could be too much for some.
“Clear communication and transparent evidence for new restrictions will be essential to sustain confidence and ensure compliance. Firms will also want to see criteria for a tangible pathway to the timely easing of these new restrictions.”