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Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has continued to strongly make the case for radical measures to support people in business through the coronavirus emergency – and is specifically focused on Island business.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Bob raised 3 key issues with the Economic Secretary: more information on how businesses can apply for assistance, a rethink on those businesses eligible for a tax holiday and the need for additional measures to help the voluntary sector.

He said:

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“Rateable value capped at £51,000 (the threshold to qualify for a tax holiday during the crisis) is too low for medium-sized tourist employers like the Seaview Hotel.

“Secondly, we need clarity in the system because my Chamber of Commerce still does not know how to apply.

“Thirdly, we need a package for the voluntary sector. West Wight Sports Centre and world leading UK Sailing Academy are major employers in my patch. We either need a voluntary sector package or we need a universal employment retention programme.”

Bob said he wanted the government to take on board ideas on the universal employment retention package – raised in parliament today – to prevent a health crisis becoming an economic disaster.

Mr Glen said the Island’s MP was absolutely right with respect to the voluntary sector needing support. He said:

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“There will be a package coming, and different departments are working together to make this as effective and as comprehensive as possible.

“His particular constituency has a number of issues in terms of the hospitality and leisure sector on the Isle of Wight and I’m very aware of the representations he’s been making to government over the previous few days.”

Afterwards, Bob said:

“This issue is one that will affect all sections of society in a variety of ways. It is a fast-moving situation, but I can assure Islanders that I will be working hard to ensure that the government is taking into account everyone who requires help at this difficult time as it puts in place measures to tackle this outbreak and its effects.”

Bob said he is having daily briefings on the crisis with a variety of people including representatives from Island businesses, voluntary sector, IW Council, IW health bosses, adult social care, IW Chamber of Commerce, and others from the leisure and tourism industry.


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