1st July 2021 – Press Release
TOO SOON TO REDUCE THE FURLOUGH SAFETY NET SAYS BACTA
Businesses across Britain will have to start making compulsory furlough contributions from today putting extra pressure on employers still struggling to get back on their feet.
Treasury will contribute just 70% towards furloughed staff, although the monthly limit of £2500 will remain in place for workers. Government hopes the move will encourage more businesses to take their staff back on full time.
Bacta CEO John White believes the move comes too soon for the amusement and gaming sectors. “Furlough has helped save jobs across the sector but it is still a cost for businesses. Some sectors of the amusement machine supply chain such as single site operators, and machine manufacturers/distributors, have had no other help” says White. “They received no rates relief in the same way as public-facing hospitality businesses, despite the fact that they were unable to sell any product. Reducing furlough payments before they are able to trade at previous levels is going to put more pressure particularly on single-site operators, manufacturers and distributors and ultimately will lead to the loss of jobs.”
Bacta continues to lobby for much needed support across the industry including rates relief for the supply chain and the reduction of VAT and Machine Games Duty (MGD) to 5% to bring arcades in line with the support offered to other tourism businesses unable to open to the public during lockdown and to support the rebirth of High Streets across the Country.
“Businesses like ours were not treated fairly during the crisis. Many of them are valuable employers in some of the most economically depressed parts of the country. For example, many of our members are situated in coastal towns that are among the most deprived communities in the UK. The government talks about the levelling-up agenda and this is an opportunity to help do just that. The fact is that just because the doors to these businesses are open again it doesn’t mean that it is business as usual. There are bills piling up, including CBILS and BBL repayments – reducing furlough contributions could be the straw that backs the camel’s back,” concludes White.
Bacta represents the owners and operators of over-18 amusement centres (AGCs), seaside amusement arcades, and the companies that hire machines to pubs, clubs, bowling alleys, bingo halls and similar venues. It also represents the manufacturers and distributors of all types of gaming machines and amusement equipment ranging from children’s rides, to jukeboxes, fruit machines in pubs and clubs, redemption machines, crane grabbers, penny falls, tuppeny nudgers, test your strength machines, videos, and pool tables.
Steph Norbury – Managing Director, Upgrade PR Ltd.
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