Sadiq Khan: Rishi Sunak must prioritise shops, pubs, restaurants and theatres in his Budget

The Mayor said furlough, the business rates holiday and VAT relief “must continue for as long as necessary” and called on Rishi Sunak to use Wednesday’’s Budget to continue to support businesses worst affected in the pandemic.

A City Hall report last month said the capital had suffered a £12.8 billion hit to its economy, with spending by overseas tourists down by £7.4 billion. Domestic tourists spent £3.5 billion less, and commuters £1.9 billion less.

It said almost 250,000 jobs were lost in London last year and the capital faced a bigger challenge than New York and Paris from home-working and lack of tourism because fewer people lived in the centre.

Mr Khan will launch his re-election campaign on Thursday with a focus on jobs and economy. Writing on the Standard website today, he said levels of unemployment seen in the 1980s must be avoided.

He said: “Ministers need to support those sectors that have been worst hit by the pandemic — like retail, hospitality, leisure and culture. Not just with emergency grants and loans to help them survive until restrictions are fully lifted, but with a proper vision for the future that sets a clear framework for how Government is going to support them to recover and grow.

“If Britain’s economy is to recover — as it must — then this growth will be led by London, which is the engine of growth for the entire UK. Refusing to support the recovery of our capital for political reasons would just make us all poorer in the long run.”


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