Grahame Morris MP led a debate in Westminster Hall this afternoon on the future of the coach industry.
The Easington MP was allocated the debate by the Backbench Business Committee.
Many Members present mentioned coach companies in their constituencies who had contacted them about the impact of the pandemic, and lack of government support.
Without support, the industry is warning that 4 in 10 companies could go bust, with the loss of 27,000 jobs, not counting those within the supply chain that service the sector.
Mr Morris listed the various bailouts allocated by Government to other sectors, including:
Arts, Culture and Heritage – £1.57 billion
Bus and Tram Bailout – £700 million plus £3.3 billion for Transport for London
Voluntary and Charity Sector – £750 million
Eat Out To Help Out – £500 million
Sports Bailout – £300 million for rugby union, horse racing, women’s football and lower tiers of the National League Football
He clarified that the support given to other sectors was absolutely right and necessary, but insisted that the coach sector much be given parity and an equal chance to survive, with support that recognises the implications of the ‘ripple effect’ that the pandemic has had on the sector.
He explained that the most responsible coach companies have invested in the newest clean fleets, our economy, and are implementing the government’s climate change policy. However, they face the greatest loss, having to manage higher debt levels, at a time when they have no income and the industry is shut down. This crisis is not one of their own making.
The Easington MP said, “Thank you to everyone who has contacted me in advance of the coach debate. There is clear cross-party support for sector specific support but the government Minister distracted from the calls for more help.
Time is running out for this much-needed and much-loved sector. The government must act before it is too late and we lose these vital businesses we will need for the Covid recovery.”