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MP urges Chancellor to give supermarket rates relief cash to the excluded

December 4, 2020 6:56 PM

Tim with ExcludedUK campaignersSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, asking him to use the £1.9bn in returned business rates relief from major supermarkets to go towards those who have been excluded from the Government's coronavirus support schemes.

Today, Lidl were the latest retail giant to hand back the cash, joining Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi, ASDA, Sainsbury's, B&M and Pets at Home.

In his letter to Rishi Sunak, Tim said: "As I'm sure you're very much aware, exclusion from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme has left many with no meaningful income now for well over eight months.

"This has led to many falling into deep and desperate debt with awful consequences for their mental health and wellbeing.

"The impact of this for our economy will be stark, with many of these people being the small business owners, the creative freelancers and the entrepreneurs we so desperately need to get Britain's economy moving again.

"When it came to giving financial support to millions of workers and businesses back in March, you recognised that was the right thing to do and didn't quibble about where the money would come from to pay from it.

"When it comes to supporting those who fell through the cracks, you should have the same approach.

"However, this week's news of Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi, ASDA, Sainsbury's, Lidl, B&M and Pets at Home handing back £1.9bn worth of business rates relief to the Treasury will make your decision that bit easier and gives you a pot of cash readily available to support the excluded.

"I would urge you to take this golden opportunity to fix this injustice and support the very people our country needs to kickstart the economy and lead us out of recession."