Covid-19: Aviation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:42 pm on 3rd June 2020.

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Photo of Catherine McKinnell Catherine McKinnell Chair, Petitions Committee, Chair, Petitions Committee 12:42 pm, 3rd June 2020

I echo concerns about the shoddy treatment of BA staff. Newcastle airport is the single largest site for employment in my constituency, supporting 4,000 jobs there and 19,000 across the north-east region. The airport is pivotal to our regional economy. Airports in Scotland and Northern Ireland have been granted business rates relief. In England and Wales, the Government have offered that to retail, hospitality and leisure, but not to aviation. The Minister says that business rates are not for her Department, but the Chancellor is not here. Can this Government not see that this industry needs support, both now and to deal with the future economic storms that are clearly going to come, which will have an impact on areas such as the north-east in particular?