The Chairman of South East England Councils (SEEC) has reacted to the Chancellor’s additional financial support measures to help mitigate the impact of further restrictions brought about by an increase in Covid-19 cases.
Cllr Roy Perry said:
“With the furlough scheme expiring and unemployment expected to rise, we welcome the new intervention from the Chancellor, to provide additional employment support.
In particular, tourism and hospitality are critical sectors for the South East economy, so the retaining the 5% VAT rate is useful – but more targeted sector employment support is certainly needed, particularly for aviation.
Our recent poll of 275 councillors polling across the South East found nearly 9 in 10 had the view that government should make investment in employment a high priority, as part of a national economic recovery plan.
The South East economy is second only to that of London’s in terms of employment, tax contributions to the treasury and GVA. The Government must do all it can to protect our region. Failure to do so will adversely impact on the UK’s recovery efforts, while damaging the Government’s Build Back Better agenda.
Local authorities have played an integral role in providing essential services to their residents throughout the pandemic despite reduced funding and resources. With this virus likely to be with us for foreseeable future, the Government must also provide additional funding to councils, so they have the wherewithal to weather the longer-term impact of this pandemic.
Support for employers and employees alike is welcome, however, councils too require certainty during these extraordinary times”.
Notes to editors:
- Councillor Roy Perry is available for interview. Contact Sean McKee:
- With most local councils as members, SEEC works in partnership to make the region a great place to live, work and do business www.secouncils.gov.uk
- SEEC is a recognised cross-party regional grouping that cooperates with the Local Government Association (LGA).