Published on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

MPs plead with Chancellor for travel industry lifeline


Several MPs are backing ABTA's Save Future Travel campaign and pushing Government ministers to provide extra support to the travel and tourism industries.

John Healey, MP for the South Yorkshire constituency of Wentworth and Dearne, has written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak reminding him of his pledged to 'do whatever it takes to support British businesses'.

Healey told Sunak that the travel industry has been 'left in limbo by lack of specific support and confused public statements from ministers'.

In particular, he pointed to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps 'unhelpful' statement that he wouldn't plan a holiday any time soon.

Healey's letter to the Chancellor was a result of a local travel agent signing ABTA's Save Future Travel petition, which generated an email to Healey asking for his support.

Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, is amongst other MPs to throw their weight behind ABTA's Save Future Travel campaign, which is pressing the Government to amend the Package Travel Regulations to give travel companies longer to process refunds for cancelled holidays.

She has also written to the Chancellor while Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green in north London, has been in touch with the Shadow Business Secretary, who is discussing the issue with the Business Sectary.

ABTA said more than 24,000 letters had been sent to MPs as a result of its Save Future Travel campaign launched a month ago.

Its chief executive Mark Tanzer appeared before a Commons Transport Select Committee this week to repeat ABTA's request to relax the Package Travel Regulations to allow more time for refunds.

He said the alternative was for the Government to pay the refunds itself and reclaim the money from tour operators later. Tanzer warned that inaction by the Government could lead to members closing down.

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