Pat Doody said measures such as the Job Retention Bonus, whereby businesses will be rewarded for retaining staff currently furloughed, and the Kickstart Scheme to create fully subsidised jobs for young people, will be vital as Greater Lincolnshire navigates the road to economic recovery.
“In Greater Lincolnshire as elsewhere businesses are feeling the effect of the lockdown,” said Mr Doody. “Some have closed for good, others are only now re-opening, and the effects will be seen in higher unemployment unless decisive action is taken.
“The Job Retention Bonus is welcome as it will provide further financial support to businesses to enable them to retain staff.
“Meanwhile we are pleased to see that the prospect of high levels of youth unemployment is being tackled with the Kickstart Scheme, which will help to create jobs for young people who might otherwise struggle to find work post-lockdown.
“It is also encouraging to see further investment in apprenticeships, traineeships and the National Careers Service.”
UK employers will receive a one-off Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31st January 2021.
In Greater Lincolnshire an estimated 117,800 people who have been furloughed, or one-quarter of the total workforce.
There is also targeted help for the hospitality and tourism sector. Greater Lincolnshire employs nearly 30,000 people in the visitor economy and associated sectors, which is indirectly worth almost £2.4bn to the local economy.
Mr Doody welcomed the cut in VAT for tourism and hospitality-related businesses from 20% to 5% as well as the Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme which will offering a 50% price cut for diners eating out in cafés, pubs and restaurants from Monday to Wednesday throughout August.
“Of course our hospitality and tourism sectors are in urgent need of a boost, with the end of the summer season now in sight, so any short-term incentive which will encourage people to spend money is to be welcomed.”
Today’s announcements are not the only good news for the Greater Lincolnshire economy recently.
The Greater Lincolnshire LEP has separately received a £25.8 million cash boost from the Government to fund ‘shovel-ready’ projects to help the local economy and create jobs.
The ‘New Deal’ funding is part of a comprehensive plan by the Government to “build, build, build”, delivering upgrades to local infrastructure and boosting skills in a move to fuel economic recovery across the UK.
Mr Doody commented: “We very much welcome this additional funding, which will provide a major stimulus for our city, towns and communities.
“The size of our allocation demonstrates a belief in what the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership can deliver and is a testament to the collaborative working between the LEP and its partners.”
For full details of the Chancellor’s Summer Economic Update visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/a-plan-for-jobs-2020