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Local Government Responsibilities: Public Services

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:34 pm on 18th March 2020.

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Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 3:34 pm, 18th March 2020

I am glad the hon. Lady welcomes some of the immediate progress being made. She makes an important and serious point, which I will consider in depth. I am happy to discuss it with her in the days ahead.

We must also acknowledge that the crisis will not only put enormous pressure on our social care system and our most vulnerable people, but hit our local economies. We must play our part to protect those around us as well as to actively protect the local economies that underpin our communities. I will therefore set out measures the Government are taking to reflect that local priority.

Local venues, including pubs and theatres, are the pillars of local communities, and we understand the importance of giving them our wholehearted support in the weeks and months ahead. That is why we are giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months and increasing grants to small businesses eligible for small business rate relief from £3,000 to £10,000; we are also increasing the planned rates discount for pubs to £5,000 as part of mitigating the social and economic effects of the virus.