It is a great tragedy that businesses who have formed part of East Hull’s trade for many years could be forced to relocate due to rising rates and Tory mismanagement. In particular, the business rates revaluation due to come into effect on 1 April has left many small businesses in East Hull at risk of going under.
Here in East Hull, we know that our businesses play a vital role in our dynamic and vibrant local landscape – not least in providing employment and opportunities. And yet, at the moment, many are just about surviving.
It is clear that businesses have been let down by this Conservative Government. From delaying the revaluation to their failure to put adequate transitional arrangements in place, the Government have mishandled this whole process, and should provide immediate emergency relief to stop thousands of businesses going under.
Labour is therefore calling for a complete overhaul of business taxation to create the conditions for enterprises of all sizes to prosper.
Our five point plan on business rates will help local businesses survive the Tories’ devastating revaluation of business rates – including setting up an emergency transitional relief fund for businesses facing “cliff edge” increases in their rates; revising the appeals process to ensure businesses get a fair hearing; bringing forward CPI indexation so that businesses aren’t paying more because of inflation; excluding new investment in plant and machinery from future business rates valuation; introducing more regular valuations to stop businesses facing periodic, unmanageable hikes; and implementing a fundamental reform of the business rates system to better reflect the structure of the retail sector in the age of online shopping (reviewing the inclusion of the NHS and schools).
Additionally, my colleagues, the Shadow Business Secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, will be holding an emergency roundtable discussion with leading business organisations, including the Federation of Small Business, the British Retail Consortium, and the British Chamber of Commerce.
East Hull businesses are fed up of the business rates rollercoaster – they need stability and fairness to be at the heart of the Government’s business rates agenda.
That’s why Labour are working closely with business to radically reform our business taxation system so it is fit for the 21st Century” and serves best the interests of East Hull.