CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

TREASURY – SUPPORT FOR FOOD AND DRINK WHOLESALERS [59660] – 16 June 2020

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason his Department has not allocated financial support to food and drink wholesalers; whether food and drink wholesalers are classified as part of the same supply chain as the supermarkets which they supply; and if he will make it his policy to extend (a) business rates relief and (b) the Hospitality, Retail and Leisure Grant, to the food and drink wholesale sector.  [59660]

[Due for Answer on 22 June.] 

ANSWER

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Jesse Norman): The Government has provided enhanced support through business rates relief and business grants to businesses occupying properties used for retail, hospitality and leisure given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for Local Authorities (LAs) in England on eligible properties for the business rates relief. It is for LAs to determine eligibility for reliefs, having regard to guidance issued by the Government.

LAs can choose to make discretionary grants to businesses in wider supply chains, like the wholesale food and drink sector, if the LA considers there is a particular local economic need.

Businesses that are not eligible for business rates relief or business grants can still benefit from the wider business and employment support package the Government has made available.