Tories promise to slash business rates

The Conservatives say they will reduce rates on pubs, shops and cinemas

Boris Johnson says the tax paid by businesses owning property – known as business rates – will be cut.

The Tory leader has promised that if he returns to Number 10, he would make cutting the tax a priority.


Infographic by Scott Mathew

It is an election pledge intended on wooing business – particularly small businesses who the Tories have said will benefit most from the proposed cuts.

Business rate discounts are currently at 33 per cent but if re-elected, the Tories will increase that discount for small businesses to 50 per cent.

This would take effect from the 2020/21 financial year.

Small businesses which own and operate from premises valued at £15,000 or less fall under the small business rates relief scheme.

Under the relief scheme, businesses with properties valued between £12,001 and £15,000 pay the discount at 33 per cent while those at £12,000 or below are exempt from paying rates.

Self-employed people, small business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs and people planning start-ups are traditionally loyal Conservative voters.

But Mr Johnson was accused of anti-business sentiment by businesses back in June 2018 when, as foreign secretary, he dismissed business concerns over Brexit saying “F**k business.”

Outlining the intentions of the proposal, Mr Johnson – who is standing for re-election in the constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip – said that the measures would help “overlooked and left-behind towns”.

He said: “We need to help people put the heart back into the places they call home.”

Sajid Javid said that the policy – which he will enact as chancellor of the exchequer if a Conservative government is returned to office – will help business like small shops, pubs and cinemas.

Last month, The Guardian reported that the House of Commons Treasury select committee had concluded that the business rates system was “broken” and that an alternative was urgently needed.

The British Retail Consortium has criticised the plan and issued a statement saying that the plans did not “go far enough.”

The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties are yet to release their own official policies on business rates.

The Conservative party announced its business rates plan as Labour announced they would part-nationalise British Telecom to allow free broadband by 2030.

Words: Scott Mathew | Image credit: Unsplash.com

Infographic images copyright: ClipArtMag, IntriguingHistory.com and Deposit Photos