Clause 27 - Power to apply Act in relation to future periods of coronavirus control

Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:00 am ar 14 Rhagfyr 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The measures in the Bill are a response to the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic and will support commercial tenants and landlords to resolve their rent debt. To ensure that we are prepared for a future situation of a further wave of coronavirus giving rise to further business closures, we are including a power to reapply the provisions in the Bill. This will enable the Government to reapply any and all provisions in the Bill so that we can take a targeted approach to respond to the specific circumstances of any future period of coronavirus.

Photo of Ruth Cadbury Ruth Cadbury Shadow Minister (International Trade)

Given the past few days and the news of business revenues plummeting, we of course welcome the clause. We know that many businesses are already feeling the pinch, as we have seen in the news. There is already worry and concern in the sector about staff shortages and rising supply costs, and on top of that businesses are concerned about customer numbers. The Government appear to rule out any return of covid-related support for businesses, but at least the clause offers some relief in respect of rent arrears. Although we welcome the inclusion of a power to ensure that businesses do not get punished for rent arrears in the future if they are forced to close, I take this chance to remind the Government that businesses are feeling the pinch, even if they have got over the outstanding revenue losses from the previous almost two years. We know that customers are cautious in the face of the new variant, and that businesses will be impacted, so we support the clause.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 27 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.