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Coronavirus Business Support Schemes

Volume 693: debated on Tuesday 27 April 2021

What steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ensure the equitable distribution of coronavirus business support schemes. (914834)

The Government have provided £25 billion in cash grants for businesses, and that includes the £5 billion of funding allocated at the March Budget for restart grants and the discretionary additional restrictions grant fund. My right hon. Friend the Business Secretary has been working closely with local authorities to ensure that these grants are delivered as swiftly as possible and directed towards the businesses that have been most impacted by the pandemic.

It is clear that equitable distribution of covid business schemes is not a priority. Only those on this Treasury Bench would have the gall to claim fairness when the Chancellor and his Ministers were consumed with pulling out all the stops to support their friend the former Prime Minister on behalf of Greensill, while 3 million people were excluded from support schemes, some so distraught that they took their own lives. So to clear this up once and for all, can the Minister explain what news did Treasury officials report at a meeting on 24 April that made Greensill representatives “very pleased”?

As I have said previously, the Government are committed to co-operating fully with all reviews on these matters. I do not accept what the hon. Lady has said with respect to the schemes that the Government have put forward over the past 14 months. Her constituency has had £16.7 million in business grants and 1,206 bounce-back loans totalling £30 million. In addition, 12,700 of her constituents have benefited from the furlough scheme, and 2,000 have benefited from the self-employed income support scheme. That is a significant contribution to help her constituents.