A few days ago on the 5th November one of the Ministers from the Treasury Department, Lucy Frazer responded to this written question that Henry Smith, the MP for Crawley asked. Given that these answers are managed in terms of time that is available for a response to be made it was deeply concerning that it appears that there is no simple answer to what is a meaningful question.
Henry Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 2.67 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, whether food and drink wholesalers will be eligible for the 50 per cent business rates relief discount.
Lucy Frazer: Guidance setting out eligibility for the 2022-23 retail, hospitality and leisure reliefs will be published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in due course.
It almost implies that there has not yet been a decision made, even though the Autumn Budget and Spending Review took place on 27th October which was 10 days before the question was answered. No doubt the answer will eventually emerge but it is rather sad that the “retail, hospitality and leisure reliefs” have not yet been published and there is no indication when it will be published. Indeed it would surely be possible for a member of the Treasury Department to make a slightly better response to such a simple question.