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Published on Monday, July 20, 2020

'Shame on you, one and all in government'

Sunvil Chairman Noel Josephides has launched a blistering attack on the government over its handling of Refund Credit Notes.

He also criticised Transport Secretary Grant Shapps' comment that the move sent a clear message to customers to go ahead and book a summer holiday, saying: "This government wouldn't know a clear message if it slapped them in the face." 

The government announced on Saturday it has finally given its backing to RCNs, meaning they have the same financial protection as a package holiday.

Noel said: "The government has been briefed and begged, via the various ministries that oversee the outbound travel sector. It simply hasn't responded to AITO's communications and obviously doesn't know its own Air Travel Trust Fund regulations, which clearly state that RCNs have (and have always had) the full financial backing of the ATTF - as has been substantiated by the fact that the CAA has refunded RCNs issued by the failed Shearings group. 

"Government now claims to be helping the travel industry's recovery 'by sending a clear message that passengers can book their summer holidays with confidence'

"This government wouldn't know a clear message if it slapped them in the face.  They have unnecessarily trashed the hard-earned reputation of the specialist-sector travel industry via their shameful inaction over many months. 

"To announce in the third week of July that 'summer holidays can be booked with confidence' is laughable.  It's many months too late to help an industry that's had no cash flow for five months and that has had to battle a bad law with no government back-up whatever. 

"Shame on you, one and all in government.  It really wouldn't have taken more than 10 minutes for any of you to grasp the matter correctly a long time ago had you but listened  to the travel industry; all of the trade bodies have given the same message consistently, but no-one in a position of power has paid a blind bit of notice."

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