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Supporting high streets - Levelling Up Committee Chair writes to Government on impact of ending commercial evictions ban

29 March 2022

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has written to Neil O’Brien, Levelling-Up Minister, on supporting high streets after Covid-19, calling for an update on the likely impact of ending the commercial evictions ban and an assessment of how businesses are likely to be affected following the reversion of VAT rates for hospitality, accommodation, and visitor attractions.

The Chair’s correspondence to the Minister (29 March) also presses the Government to improve transparency around the full range of competitive funds which are available to high streets, including the publication of a list of local authorities whose bids who are unsuccessful.

The Chair’s letter to the Minister follows the LUHC Committee’s report (10 December 2021) which included a series of recommendations to help support high streets following the Covid pandemic. The Government published its response to the Committee’s report on 23 March 2022.

Chair's comment

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, said: “Given the potential impact on our hospitality, retail and leisure trade, it’s important to understand what the Government’s assessment is of the likely impact of ending of the ban on evictions for commercial tenants and what it is doing to inform and advise high street businesses and landlords. The Government should also set out what its analysis is of the expected impact on hospitality, accommodation, and visitor attractions of the reversion to 20% VAT on 31 March.

“In the LUHC Committee’s report on high streets, we expressed concern that the competitive bidding process for many of the Government’s town regeneration funding schemes may be failing to direct funding to the places that most need it. We also criticised a lack of transparency and evaluation around these schemes. It’s important the Government look again at our original report recommendations and share more information on all the funds and include the unsuccessful bidders for all these schemes to help improve scrutiny and ensure these funds achieve their intended objectives.”

Further information

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