Rachel out in Bury Park supporting Small Business Saturday
Rachel out in Bury Park supporting Small Business Saturday

Labour forces vote on cutting business rates, as new figures show over 300,000 businesses at risk across the country   

Labour MP Rachel Hopkins MP will today urge the government to cut business rates and support struggling businesses in Luton South. 

It comes as Rachel Hopkins MP also revealed new figures, based on a breakdown of data from the Office for National Statistics, that up to 302 of businesses are at risk in Luton South.  

With business organisations including the CBI, FSB, British Chamber of Commerce and over 40 trade associations calling for an urgent reform of the tax, the cost to businesses from rising inflation and increasing shortages is making the change more urgent. 

Labour committed at their party conference to cutting and eventually entirely scrapping business rates and replace them with a new form of business taxation fit for the 21st Century.  

Labour have proposed freezing Business Rates until the next revaluation, and then increasing the threshold for small business rates relief (from the current threshold of £15,000 to £25,000), to give SMEs a discount on their business rates bill for 2022/23, ahead of more fundamental reform, where the party say they will scrap business rates entirely and replace them with a new form of business taxation. 

Labour would pay for easing this burden on businesses by raising the UK Digital Services Tax to 12 per cent for 2022/23, raising £2.1bn which would be spent on cutting business rates for small businesses and the high street. In the long term, Labour would fund the replacement for business rates by shifting the burden of business taxation away from the high street towards large online tech giants. 

Rachel Hopkins Labour MP for Luton South said:

“Businesses in Luton’s town centre contribute to the wellbeing of our local community and they are only just finding their feet again after an incredibly difficult year.


“Increasing shortages and supply chain issues are still inflicting pressure and costs on local businesses. They are now facing a Business Rates cliff-edge with all rates relief coming to an end in March. 


“I want Luton’s town centre to thrive, and that’s why Labour will scrap business rates. We will carry out the biggest overhaul of business taxation in a generation, so our businesses can recover and prosper, not watch opportunities go elsewhere.” 


Notes to Editors

  • Labour’s motion for their Opposition Day Debate tomorrow is as follows: That this House recognises the importance of British businesses to high streets and communities across the UK and the exceptional challenges they face due to the pandemic and rising costs; regrets the Government’s current plan to end all temporary support for businesses from April 2022; and calls on the Government to support businesses by freezing the business rates multiplier and extending the threshold for small business rates relief from £15,000 rateable value to £25,000 in 2022/23; and further calls on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to update the House in person before January 2022 on his Department’s assessment of the impact that removing the temporary business support will have on small businesses.
  • On Thursday 14 October, the CBI and 41 trade associations called on the government to cut business rates.


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