Esther McVey urged Government to offer people who missed out on financial support during Covid a lifeline by redistributing money paid back by supermarkets in saved business rates.
The Tatton MP led a campaign for supermarkets to repay millions they saved when Chancellor Rishi Sunak suspended business rates for 2020/2021, which has seen Tesco and Asda confirm it will pay up.
She wants that money handed out to people who missed out on help, including newly self-employed people or those who recently changed jobs.
Speaking in a debate in Westminster on Covid-19 support schemes she said: “I set up the campaign asking for supermarkets to return their Covid business exemption, specifically with the purpose that that money would be redirected to those who have had no support during this period.
“My message to Government is that that campaign specifically aimed to redirect that money to those who have not had any money and having spoken to those firms, that was the basis on which they have handed the money forward. I hope Government will act in the same faith and spirit as those supermarkets that handed over that money and support for those people.”
Ms McVey praised Tesco and Asda for committing to return the money and urged Iceland and the Co-op to “do the right thing” and do the same.
Ms McVey has also met with Government ministers setting out the case for money to be redistributed to help those suffering financial hardship.