On Thursday 15 April, Sir David Amess called for a debate on the need for sector specific financial assistance for the personal care industry. Other industries have received support packages, such as VAT reduction, but many businesses in the personal care sector have been excluded.
Sir David Amess said:
I join others in offering my deepest sympathy to members of the royal family on their great loss and to the family and friends of Members past and present who have died recently.
Following the reopening of some businesses earlier this week, will my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on support for the personal care sector? I have been contacted by a number of local establishments that are still being impacted by the pandemic and have not been offered sector-specific financial support, such as value added tax reductions. I hope that the personal care industry will be supported in its reopening.
Jacob Rees-Mogg replied:
My hon. Friend is right to raise the needs of the personal care sector, which is a very significant employer and provides great joy to many customers. I have never been more relieved to have a haircut than I was on Tuesday night, when finally the barber’s clippers went snip, snip, snip and a degree of respectability was restored. This week, shops, hairdressers, nail salons—I am a less regular visitor to nail salons, I must confess—outdoor attractions and pubs and restaurants outdoors can open once again, which is good news for those operating in those sectors.
At the Budget, the Chancellor announced new restart grants worth up to £18,000, which will help more than 680,000 eligible businesses, including those in the personal care sector, to get going again. On top of the grants that closed businesses have received since January, businesses could receive up to £36,000 in grants this year. To support those that are not eligible for these grants, taxpayers are giving councils in England an additional £425 million of discretionary business grant funding, on top of the £1.6 billion they have already received. Nobody could say that this amount of money is a snip.