Sunday 26 September 2021 / 10:30 PM Rachel Reeves

Labour to scrap business rates and replace with fairer system

Labour to scrap business rates and replace with fairer system


Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves today announces Labour will cut – and eventually entirely scrap – business rates, replacing them with a new system of business taxation fit for the 21st century.


The announcement follows news yesterday that Labour would set up an Office for Value for Money to tackle government waste and introduce a new set of fiscal rules to get a handle on public finances, as part of their mission to tax fairly, spend wisely and get the economy firing on all cylinders.


Making the announcement at Labour conference, Reeves will say that the party would shift the burden of business taxes to create a level playing field, slamming the current system under the Conservatives as one that punishes investment, entrepreneurships and the high street.


And the former Bank of England economist will also announce the party will undertake a major review of existing tax reliefs, scrapping those that don’t benefit the taxpayer or the economy.


She will outline how the party will move forward on tax reform with three key pillars determining their approach: tax fairness, tax efficiency, and shifting the burden of business tax.


Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves MP will say:


On businesses, she will say:


“Our high street businesses do so much to enrich our lives and our communities, facing huge adversity in the past year. They are struggling right now, with a cliff-edge in rates relief coming up in March.


“The next Labour government will scrap business rates.


“We will carry out the biggest overhaul of business taxation in a generation, so our businesses can lead the pack, not watch opportunities go elsewhere.


“And here is our guarantee: the system we replace it with will incentivise investment, feature more frequent revaluations, and instant reductions in bills where property values fall, reward businesses that move into empty premises, encourage, not penalise, green improvements to businesses, and no public services or local authorities will lose out from these changes.


“Labour’s approach will be based on working together, with businesses, workers and public bodies all pulling together in a national endeavour to rebuild Britain and to seize the opportunities of the future.”


On tax breaks, she will say:


“There are hundreds of different tax breaks in the system.


“Some are important but too many simply provide loopholes for those who can afford the best advice.


“For businesses they create extra layers of complexity to navigate, and added together they cost more than our entire NHS budget.


“We will look at every single tax break. If it doesn’t deliver for the taxpayer or for the economy then we will scrap it.


“Labour will tax fairly, spend wisely, and get our economy firing on all cylinders.”