CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

BEIS/TREASURY – BUSINESS RATES RELIEF AND SUPERMARKETS [63198] – 23 June 2020

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the value of business rates relief allocated to UK supermarkets; whether supermarkets have experienced an (a) expansion or (b) contraction in retail revenue since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and by what criteria are (i) supermarkets eligible and (ii) food and drink wholesalers not eligible for business rates relief.  [63198] 

[Due for Answer on 29 June.] 

QUESTION TRANSFERRED FROM BEIS TO TREASURY 

ANSWER

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Jesse Norman): The Government has provided enhanced support through business rates relief worth almost £10billion to businesses occupying properties used for retail, hospitality and leisure that are accessible to visiting members of the public, given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

Recent ONS figures show that, in the three months to May 2020, the volume of retail sales decreased by a record 12.8%, with declines across all stores except food and non-store retailing. The proportion spent online rose to the highest proportion on record in May 2020 at 33.4%.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as food and drink wholesalers, has also been made available.