Following a Downing Street briefing led by the UK transport spokesperson Grant Shapps, Gavin Newlands MP (pictured) criticised the Transport Secretary for delay and inaction on removing the instability facing employees and the wider industry.
The MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire North warned that the Department for Transport’s inaction will cost thousands of jobs.
Commenting, Gavin Newlands MP said:
“For weeks now our calls for action on a number of issues facing the transport sector have been met with silence.
“Finally, after six weeks of the daily No.10 press conferences and having been given the chance to trumpet his department’s support for the industry, Shapps’ announcement fell flat.
“I am extremely concerned that the UK government is simply not listening to the real concerns of businesses across aviation, road haulage, coaching and holiday travel.
“In my constituency alone there is a significant number of jobs in the sector and without urgent action many companies will not survive and many thousands of workers will be out of a job.
“This would mean prolonged benefit support for many and, in the event of travel companies collapsing, a huge administrative burden with a bill to match to cover travel consumer protections.
“Surely it would make far greater sense to support these businesses and workers now, keeping them in employment and providing for their families while protecting consumers at the same time.
“Despite SNP calls for action there was also nothing in the statement for Flybe staff – the first 2,500 workers to lose their jobs following the impact of the pandemic on aviation.
“Workers who, according to the UK Government’s own rules on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, could and should have been retrospectively furloughed by the administrator.
“Now they are facing months of unnecessary financial hardship.
“The Scottish Government have already shown the way on aviation, with all aviation related businesses receiving 100% rates relief for a full year.
“The Westminster Government has failed to follow suit.
“From aviation and road haulage, to coaching and holiday travel, employees and management are crying out for help in their time of need.
“Time is running out for many – it’s time for the UK Government to act before it’s too late.”