Ruth Cadbury MP
House of Commons
Dear Rt Hon Rishi Sunak,
I’m writing to you regarding the upcoming cliff edge ending of the furlough scheme
on the 31st October. In the last few days and weeks I have been contacted by a very
large number of constituents who have expressed their dismay and worry about the
ending of the furlough, along with the end of SEISS payments. These are worries and
concerns that I share too.
I know I have previously written to you about this on the 30th July but with so many
of my constituents livelihoods at stake I wanted to once again press you and the
Government on the importance of extending the CJRS and the SEISS for the hardest
With many sectors of our economy still unable to re-open I fear that the ending of
these schemes could see a large spike in job losses, with areas such as Hounslow
being impacted the hardest by this.
One particular sector that is going to be hit the hardest by this withdrawal is the arts,
events and wider creative sector. While I appreciate the Governments support package
for the arts earlier this year I have been contacted by many people across the sector
who are concerned that this package alone is not sufficient to support the sector,
especially as it’s unclear when theatres, grassroots music venues and other similar
venues will be able to re-open profitably.
Many of the constituents who’ve contacted me about this issue have been those working
in Central London arts venues particularly in West End theatres. They’ve spent many years
and even decades learning and developing their skills & talents; yet they rightly fear that
the ending of the furlough will see huge job losses across the sector. Our world class creative
industry should be at the centre of any plan to tackle this economic crisis.
Additionally in my own constituency and the wider borough of Hounslow the aviation
sector plays an extremely large role; with an estimated 1 in 3 jobs in the borough
being dependant on the aviation sector and the wider supply chain. With the aviation
industry not expected to reach previous levels of demand until 2023 I’m concerned
that ending the furlough will make the jobs crisis even worse. As you know the sector
is crucial in providing well paid and secure work for many residents; particularly
among the BAME community in Hounslow.
Hounslow and the wider West London Economy is particularly reliant on Heathrow
for both direct employment and for the extra investment and industry it brings in
which is predicted to contribute between 13,000 to 27,000 additional jobs.
The fact that the aviation sector has seen no sector specific support means that this
crisis is already at a tipping point. I fear ending the furlough will add another blow to
an already struggling sector.
The challenges facing aviation have also been mirrored in the tourism sector which
has suffered greatly in the last few months. I understand the sector has already seen
12,000 job losses during the pandemic. While I will be writing separately to both
yourself and the Transport Secretary about the specific issues facing the tourism &
travel sector I know that the withdrawal of the furlough is an issue of greater concern
for many working in the sector.
I very much hope that you and the Government re-consider the decision to end the
furlough program. I fear that without a change of course our hardest hit sectors are
going to see an even greater jobs crisis; both in my own constituency and across the