Valerie Vaz MP urges Chancellor to support local news publishers

Rt Hon Valerie Vaz MP has written to the Treasury to call for business rates relief for struggling news publishers

Rt Hon Valerie Vaz MP said:

“I have written to the Treasury to highlight the lack of financial support news publishers have received during the pandemic. I am calling for an extension of the one-year business rates holiday for the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors to newspaper publishers, in line with Scotland. It is time for the Government to step up and provide news publishers with the support they need.”

“According to research conducted by the News Media Association, since the start of the pandemic advertising revenue for local and regional titles has fallen by as much as 80%. At the end of March, 50% of titles surveyed estimated their survival time to be no more than 2 to 4 months. This is an avoidable crisis and the Chancellor must act now to protect this critical industry.”

“I am concerned that the Government did not announce any additional support for news publishers in the Summer Economic Statement on 8 July 2020 and I raised this with the Government during Business Questions on 9 July 2020. As no further support has been announced I have now written to the Treasury urging them to provide business rates relief for news publishers.”

“Local news publishers perform a vital role in our democracy and have been at the frontline of reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic. They keep the public informed.”

“Doing nothing is not an option – the Government must support news publishers to ensure their long-term survival.”