Mike Amesbury – 2023 Parliamentary Question on Businesses Such as the Bulls Head in Frodsham

The parliamentary question asked by Mike Amesbury, the Labour MP for Weaver Vale, in the House of Commons on 9 January 2023.

Mike Amesbury (Weaver Vale) (Lab)

What would the Minister say to Mr Uppall, who runs a vital service—a post office—in Hartford, in my constituency? What would he say to the likes of Alison, the landlady of the Bulls Head in Frodsham, also in my constituency, about his rationale and that of the Government in reducing vital support at this particular time?

James Cartlidge

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to raise the points made by his constituents. As I said to the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Caroline Lucas), we do understand that the way in which prices have risen has caused great anxiety. In Government, however, we have a duty to consider not only what support we can provide, but the cost to the Exchequer. We have to take that balanced approach. The £18 billion six-month scheme that is currently operational is extremely expensive, and, as I said earlier, stakeholders to whom I have spoken, including those in our major industrial lobbying organisations, did not expect support to remain at its former level because of the huge cost. We have to balance this continued support—which will help the businesses and institutions to which the hon. Gentleman has referred—with the need for fiscal prudence.