21 December 2021
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said:
“The Chancellor has provided welcome breathing space to boost confidence and provide support for hospitality and leisure businesses to keep their doors open through tough disruption to their crucial winter trading.
“The latest targeted package offers a fair variety of support to help keep businesses open, with new central grants, flexibility on time to pay and sick pay support for SMEs. All this and more will help keep the economy open as we learn to live with the virus.
“That said, the international travel and tourism sector remains disappointingly out of scope despite the heavy toll it has taken for many months and its vital role in enabling international trade and supporting jobs.
“Business stands ready to work in partnership with Government to lift confidence as we head into 2022 and the critical new year booking period. Ramping up mass-testing, lifting international restrictions as soon as possible, and clear, forward guidance for firms will all be crucial to protect jobs and growth.
“But if infection and hospitalisation rates continue to grow across the country, the potential of further measures will weigh on firms. The Government must monitor the situation closely and ensure that any new restrictions go in lock-step with further targeted cashflow support to those firms most in distress across sectors impacted.”