Real Bread Campaign

Thank you for contacting me about the Real Bread Campaign's Honest Crust Act proposals.

I am aware of no plans to raise the Small Business Rates Relief threshold for bakeries. However, I welcome that the Government has taken a third of properties out of business rates completely and has frozen the tax rate for the last three years at a cost of £14.5 billion.

Regarding energy, the Government keeps energy efficiency support for businesses, including bakeries, under review. However, I welcome that through the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS), the Government provided a discount on energy bills for businesses whose bills were significantly inflated following Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. The EBDS ran until March 2024 and, together with the Energy Bills Relief Scheme, provided around £7.5 billion of support to businesses.

Moreover, regarding taxation, I welcome that the Government has cut the main rate of Class One employee National Insurance contributions from 12 per cent to 8 per cent. This reduction will save the average worker on £35,400 over £900 a year.

I welcome that the Start Up Loans Company, part of the Government-owned British Business Bank, can provide provides loans and support to new entrepreneurs. I understand that the Start Up Loans Company has provided over 100,000 loans to entrepreneurs since the programme started in 2012.

Additionally, through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, the Government is introducing new powers for local authorities to take control of empty buildings and give communities and local businesses the opportunity to bid for the chance to rent shops.

Finally, regarding the teaching of bread-making in schools, teaching on cooking and nutrition is compulsory for key stages 1 to 3. The curriculum does not specify that bread making must be taught, but teachers may choose to include bread among the foods they study.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.