Esther McVey is urging Government departments to work together to save the coach industry hit hard by continuing Covid restrictions.
The Tatton MP said coach bosses have told her they are not getting the same financial support as bus companies to cover loss of earnings and reduced capacity to allow for social distancing.
She is calling for a joined up approach to tackle the issue with the remit falling under several Government departments including Transport, Businesses and Environment.
Ms McVey said: “This is an industry hit hard and we need to look at ways to support it and ensure businesses survive and we keep people in jobs. I have spoken to a business which in five months lost 95 per cent of its expected turnover. Yet it still has to find money to pay employee national insurance contributions, pensions and that is an enormous financial burden.
“Next month we are expecting the Budget and I hope the Chancellor will announce some measures which will help the industry come through these challenging times.”
This week Ms McVey attended a 400-strong online meeting with MPs and coach representatives from across the country, including Holmeswood Coaches, a family company operating in Cheshire and the North West and Cheshire’s Bullock Coaches, to listen to concerns and try to find solutions.
The industry wants Government to launch a positive “get on the coach” message and promote UK tourism once restrictions allow. It also wants commercial lenders to allow greater flexibility in finance repayments and defer any government backed loan until business improves. Minsters should also follow the Scottish Government and introduce a per vehicle grant based scheme for coach operators.
Ms McVey also said there are so many rules and regulations facing the sector which are managed by different departments and what was needed is an umbrella approach with cross-departmental working.