VIVID Travel boss Kane Pirie has urged the government to stop introducing “complicated solutions to simple problems” and introduce direct tax breaks for employers.

Pirie made his comments following reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering a six-month stamp duty “holiday” to help stimulate the economy.

Pirie said: “The government is estimated to be spending £60 billion on people not working through the furlough scheme. There is today speculation of cuts in stamp duty to help stimulate the economy and save jobs.

“The government is showing a talent for complicated solutions to simple problems. They should save jobs by reducing the costs of jobs to business now. Go direct to the issue and reduce the eye-watering levels of taxation on employers which adds 13% to the gross salary costs.”

He added: “Cuts in stamp duty might trickle through to job creation eventually but there is a more reliable and direct tool to protect jobs hanging by a thread: make them less expensive to businesses with a 12-month holiday from employer’s tax.

“This could be targeted to the sectors hardest hit which would include leisure, travel and hospitality. Maybe it is time for government to give us a break.”

At the weekend, Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer wrote to the Chancellor to encourage him to consider ‘tailored support’ to minimise further job losses in the travel sector.

Meanwhile, 120 UK hospitality and tourism bosses signed an open letter to prime minister Boris Johnson calling for aid and investment following “devastation” caused by Covid-19.