Nickie Aiken, MP for the Cities of London & Westminster secured a parliamentary debate on the recovery of central London businesses.
Leading the debate, Nickie specifically pushed for:
- The temporary removal of the £2m business rates relief cap which will help many mid-size businesses in the Capital.
- A government-backed insurance scheme for the theatre sector to help with Covid-related cancellations.
- An extension of the 5% VAT freeze for cultural tickets until the end of 2021/22 to incentivise activity and support investment.
- Longer Sunday trading hours (up to 8pm) in the international centres in central London - to accommodate Sunday matinees and consumer demand. This will mean London matches cities such as New York, Tokyo, Dubai, Beijing and even Edinburgh.
The Minister’s, response showed an openness to working with all parties and stakeholders to ensure London’s businesses recover as soon as possible. Nickie was grateful to Paul Scully for acknowledging her concerns on London’s recovery and was pleased to hear that business rates are being looked at.
Speaking before the debate, Nickie said
"Right now, our great Capital is asleep, and I would like the government to consider a robust and ambitious plan to reawaken it and bring it roaring back to life. A huge part of that involves helping our theatre industry, and in turn all the surrounding restaurants, shops and hotels - the ecosystem of our beautiful global city. I’m confident London will bounce back, but the government has a choice on how quickly that happens."
Watch the debate in full above or click here