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Lib Dems demand a budget to breathe new life into our town centres

March 10, 2020 2:41 PM

Ahead of the budget, the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Chancellor to scrap business rates, and replace them with a landowner levy to "breathe new life" into high streets in South Northamptonshire.

Liberal Democrat Councillor David Tarbun said: "Many retailers and small businesses in Towcester and Brackley and right across South Northamptonshire are under pressure from economic uncertainty, the rise of online retail and the burden of business rates. It is the responsibility of the Conservative Government to ensure that our businesses are able to thrive, but Ministers in Whitehall are not doing anywhere near enough.

"Councillor Lisa Samiotis said: "That is why Liberal Democrats locally are campaigning to create the environment needed for local businesses to grow and create jobs in South Northamptonshire. Our message is clear; every Liberal Democrat elected here in May is another voice championing our town centres."

The Government cannot afford to let two key sectors of our economy that employ millions get crushed by business rates. The Liberal Democrats will keep pushing the Government to take urgent action in the budget."

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, has warned that "the retail sector sounded the alarm bell on business rates a long time ago" and urged the Chancellor to fully adopt his party's policy in the Budget.

The Liberal Democrats want to replace business rates with a commercial landowner levy, based on the value of the land only. This would take the cost off businesses and help support high streets. By taxing landowners rather than businesses, half a million small businesses across the country would be spared the burden of property taxation.

Liberal Democrat proposals would cut taxes for businesses by 26% in South Northamptonshire.

David Tarbun Headshot