Sunakâ€™s hospitality bailout is only enough for now, just
The Â£1bn support package merely plays catch-up with the current â€˜stealth lockdownâ€™. More may well be needed â€“ and soon
Itâ€™s something. The chancellorâ€™s Omicron support package for the hospitality sector is worth Â£1bn, enough for Rishi Sunak to claim he listened to the cries of distress from pubs, restaurants and leisure businesses and acted. And, to be fair to him, there was applause from the main industry lobby groups. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, called it a â€œgenerous packageâ€.
It is hard, though, to escape the sense that the measures could quickly be overtaken by events. This is a limited package designed merely to catch up with the current â€œstealth lockdownâ€ environment, meaning consumersâ€™ sensible decision to tone down their partying. It would not be sufficient to cope with a ramping up of restrictions beyond plan B.