MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, Maureen Watt, has encouraged the Treasury to extend the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme until later this year, so that the hospitality sector in Aberdeen is not penalised further by Covid-19 restrictions.

The Aberdeen cluster lockdown means that venues and diners have not been able to take advantage of the 50% discount scheme offered. There are calls to reschedule the scheme so it begins when Aberdeen begins to ease out of lockdown – including a petition started by a local restaurant.

During FMQs, the First Minister confirmed that the Scottish Government would make the case to the UK government that the scheme should be extended to support the hospitality sector in Aberdeen.

Commenting, Maureen Watt MSP said:

“It’s absolutely vital that the many restaurants, cafes and bars in Aberdeen who have not been able to take advantage of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, through no fault of their own, are not further disadvantaged.

“Those businesses in Aberdeen, who were forced to cancel bookings in the interests of staff and customer safety, will be extremely disappointed that they are unable to take advantage of the scheme, which was also designed to provide support to the thousands of people employed in the sector.

“That decision by venues to put public health first is to be commended, particularly given that it will undoubtedly come with financial consequences.

“I am today calling on the Chancellor to support the hospitality sector in Aberdeen, and extend the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to provide businesses with the opportunity to get back on their feet, and bring customers through the door, after a prolonged period of no income.”

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