Business Rates: Small Companies

Treasury – in the House of Commons on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the number of small companies that pay business rates collectively through landlords that have been able to access cash grants through local authorities during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government have recently allocated up to an additional £617 million to local authorities to enable them to give grants to businesses excluded from existing schemes. That will enable many thousands of businesses in the situation described by the hon. Member to receive cash grants.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

Will the Minister ask local authorities to report on the extent to which landlords are passing on the grants to tenants, because it is not just in Lancaster and Fleetwood that we are seeing widespread evidence that that is not occurring?

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The hon. Lady makes a reasonable point. We are monitoring the effectiveness of all these schemes, and the way that local authorities are using their discretion in giving out those grants, but this is a matter that we will continue to examine carefully.