A PROPOSED extension of government support schemes developed to offset the major financial impacts of the pandemic has received tentative backing from MPs in south Cumbria.

This week, a parliamentary vote was held, after an opposition motion called on the Government to ''abandon its one-size-fits-all withdrawal of the Coronavirus Job Retention and Self-Employment Income Support Schemes, and instead offer targeted income support to businesses and self-employed people in those sectors of the economy that have been hardest hit by the virus".

Barrow MP Simon Fell voted against the motion.

Meanwhile, South Lakes MP Tim Farron voted in favour, arguing it was vital for the county's tourism-reliant economy.

Commenting on the reasoning behind his vote, and the broader argument for sector-specific financial support, Mr Fell said: "I don't think a general extension of furlough is the right thing right now - it's costing the country a lot of money.

"That said, however, I do think there is a strong case for targeted extension of the various forms of government support.

"There are clearly a number of businesses that are perfectly viable during normal times but can not operate currently due to the unique circumstances of the pandemic.

"The Coronation Hall in Ulverston is great example of that.

"So I've written to the Chancellor and have spoken with Gill Haigh from Cumbria Tourism about this. If we simply leave these businesses without any help in the current climate, they'll just wither."