Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson is supporting a campaign calling for a dedicated Government Minister for the hospitality sector.
A petition on the UK Parliament website has so far been signed by almost 200,000 people, and calls for a Minister for Hospitality to be appointed to help boost the sector after the huge impact of coronavirus restrictions.
Prior to the pandemic, hospitality represented 10% of all UK employment, with 3.2 million people working in the sector. It also contributed over £133 billion to the UK economy. It is estimated that the sector experienced a £53.3 billion drop in sales year-on-year between the start of April and the end of September 2020.
Pubs have been hit particularly hard, with an estimated 39 million fewer pints sold. 1 in 8 hospitality staff have already been made redundant, with most of the rest now on the Government’s furlough scheme.
Jane said: “Throughout the pandemic, I have been particularly concerned to see the impact on Wolverhampton’s hospitality sector. So many jobs in our city depend on pubs, restaurants and hotels being open for business.
“It is vital that this sector is built back up once restrictions end, and as many jobs and businesses restored as possible. That’s why I am supporting calls for a dedicated Minister for Hospitality, who will work with the sector and do whatever is needed to help it get back on its feet.
“I have been continually urging the Government to support pubs and restaurants, and I know the various grants and funding pots have been very welcome. But there is a lot more to do, and I will do everything I can to support jobs and businesses in Wolverhampton.”