SOUTH Lakes MP Tim Farron has implored government ministers to save hospitality and tourism businesses from going to the wall over the coming months.

It comes as a new survey from Cumbria Tourism revealed that 42% of tourism businesses in Cumbria are not sure whether they will survive to see Easter.

The MP called for the Government to defer business rates for a further 12 months, as well as extend the cut in VAT for a further 12 months.

He also asked the Government to continue wage support beyond April, increase business support grants so they are equivalent to the grants given during the first lockdown and provide financial support for people who have been excluded from the furlough and self-employed income support schemes

Speaking in the chamber, he said: “What we’ve got is otherwise healthy businesses that would be at the forefront of leading the fightback of our economy once we begin to move out from this crisis period.

“If we don’t back those businesses now then they will be in no state to be part of that fightback.”