Top City bosses have said a tougher tier system will 'devastate' their businesses and risk a tsunami of job losses. Shops, bars and restaurants w
Top City bosses have said a tougher tier system will ‘devastate’ their businesses and risk a tsunami of job losses.
Shops, bars and restaurants will reopen on December 2 – but there are fears swathes of the country will be plunged back into even harsher restrictions than before the lockdown.
Leading chief executives, and business groups representing millions of employees, called on Boris Johnson to ignore scientists’ ‘nightmare scenarios’ and let firms trade freely.
Concern: Shops, bars and restaurants will reopen on December 2 – but there are fears swathes of the country will be plunged back into even harsher restrictions than before the lockdown
They slammed the ‘haphazard, irrational and farcical’ restrictions in place before the lockdown in England was implemented, warning toughening the tier system would put even successful businesses at risk of going bust.
Retail, hospitality and aviation have been brought to their knees by ever-changing restrictions and lockdowns.
Thousands of hospitality firms will struggle to break even if a harsh new tier system is introduced.
Billions of pounds of sales have been lost in retail and hospitality alone in the crucial ‘Golden Quarter’.
The boss of Marston’s pub group, Ralph Findlay, said: ‘It is absurd we are now faced with coming out of lockdown with no lessening of restrictions. We need simplicity rather than knee-jerk rules.’
Mark Neale, founder of Mountain Warehouse, which has 330 stores, said: ‘The current situation is jeopardising successful British businesses,’ while Gerry Ford, founder of Caffè Nero, said: ‘The restrictions are causing devastating damage to businesses.’
Charlie Mullins, of Pimlico Plumbers, said: ‘We should not be hiding in fear of nightmare scenarios dreamed up by scientists and doctors who don’t care about the economy.’
Tim Martin, chairman of Wetherspoon, which has 875 pubs, said: ‘Government rules have devastated businesses. Ministers are driving the economy into the dirt, for zero health benefit.’
Jaeger, Laura Ashley, Cath Kidston and Byron have already gone bust in the crisis and stalwarts such as Boots, Pizza Express, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer have had to make swingeing staff cuts.
Last week 60 top retail bosses wrote to the Chancellor demanding to be allowed to reopen, adding that retail ‘stands on the brink’.