Labour to cut business rates for small business

Labour would increase business rates reliefs for small businesses before phasing the tax out completely, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will tell party conference

A Labour government would cut business rates in England for small business before phasing them out entirely, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will say today.

The party wants to boost small business by axing business rates, which it sees as an outdated tax harming business.

Independent retailers trying to make a go of things on the High Street say they are penalised by heavy rates, while out of town retailers in bigger retail parks pay less per square foot.

Plus the internet retailers rely on even cheaper distribution warehouses in the hinterlands, reducing their costs even further.

She will say that a new system would “incentivise investment, feature more frequent revaluations and instant reductions in bills where property values fall”.

>See also: How can I reduce my business rates in England? A small business guide

Under Labour’s plan, the party would freeze business rates in England until 2023 and make rates relief for smaller firms more generous.

The party says its plans would be paid for by hiking the current digital services tax (DST) paid by search engines and social media firms from 2 per cent to 12 per cent.

She will tell the Labour Party conference in Brighton that the package amounts to the “biggest overhaul of business taxation in a generation”, allowing businesses to “lead the pack, not watch opportunities go elsewhere.”

>See also: Do I need to pay business rates working from home?

The Government’s own review into the future of business rates is due to be published this autumn, having been postponed four times already.

Previously, Reeves has criticised the Conservatives for favouring large corporations over small businesses, and saw business rates reform as a way to heal hurting independent retailers trying to save the High Street.

Further reading

What are business rates? A guide for small businesses

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...

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Business rates
Labour Party

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