Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Labour MP for Slough, said calls for business rates relief for news media had “fallen on deaf ears,” despite local newspapers playing a “vital role in our local democracy.”
Slough based Labour MP, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, addressed the House of Commons yesterday (24 September 2020) calling for the government to provide more support for local newspapers.
Dhesi said: “We in Slough are fortunate to have two brilliant local newspapers, the Slough Express and the Slough Observer, which play a vital role in our local democracy and ensuring that the good people of Slough are well informed with reliable and accurate news reporting.
“But like many of their counterparts across our country, local journalism is under threat.”
He added: “Their trade body, News Media Association, has repeatedly called for business rates relief but those calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears, and the National Union of Journalists has proposed a detailed news recovery plan to ensure that the survival of excellent journalism is there for all of us”.
Minister John Whittingdale responded “The Government has extended the £1,500 business rates relief for local newspaper offices, but obviously we will continue to look at what additional measures we can take to support newspapers.”