The chancellor must spell out specific support for travel and transport in Wednesday’s Budget, a union leader has pleaded.
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to offer firm measures to support Britain’s travel industry and give guarantees about the future of Eurostar.
Cortes said: “In his Budget, Rishi Sunak must set out crystal-clear measures to support our travel trade which has been hit so hard by the pandemic and which, until now, has been all but ignored by government.
“We have already seen far too many jobs and businesses lost, and despite our calls, no sector-specific support. We can expect a surge in holiday bookings as we climb out of this crisis, but ministers must not leave things to chance.
Without a Budget support package there may not be a high street travel industry left. It’s that simple.”
Cortes also voiced fears about Eurostar, which he said had warned it could run out of cash by the summer.
“Travel, along with operators such as Eurostar – our green link to the continent – are key players in our economic recovery. These jobs and businesses are absolutely vital, and the chancellor must offer hope after long months of suffering and stress.
“Be in no doubt – anything less will hinder Britain’s overall economic recovery. That can’t be allowed to happen.”
Pilots union Balpa called for a package of support for aviation from the Budget.
It said the industry “has been overlooked for assistance at every stage of the crisis despite being an important economic driving force, carrying out vital repatriations and bring in much-needed supplies throughout the last year”.
Balpa called for a bespoke package of support and an extension to the furlough scheme.
General secretary Brian Strutton said: “Last year the Chancellor promised bespoke support for aviation. That never materialised.
“Despite the moving goal posts of travel restrictions, quarantines, red lists, corridors and bans, our pilots carried on, taking people home on repatriation flights and bringing in much-needed medical supplies.
“It’s been a very tough year and the industry has suffered hugely. It is now time to invest in aviation.”