The retail sector is a vital part of the UK economy and we want it to thrive. In March, as part of our industrial strategy, I created the Retail Sector Council. Through that group, Government and industry will work together to contribute to the sector’s future direction, to boost its productivity and economic health.
The retail sector is hugely important to my constituency, from the Metrocentre through to the small fruit and veg shops on the high street. Given that the retail sector is the UK’s largest industry, will the Minister explain the rationale behind the Government’s decision to do so little for the sector in the industrial strategy?
The hon. Lady just is not correct. The Government recognise the importance of the high street and the retail sector, which is why we have provided more than £18 million in dedicated funding. It is also why in the 2017 autumn Budget we announced measures worth £2.3 billion over five years to cut business rates and improve the system’s fairness, which will support the retail sector.