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News / Press release / Business rates

Labour’s plan for the high street – our response

The Labour Party has announced its plan for high streets, including a pledge to replace business rates.

Reforming business rates has been a long-standing ask of UKHospitality and we said we were “pleased” to see a focus on high streets from Labour.

What's in the plan?

For hospitality, there are two key commitments:

  1. 1

    Replacing business rates

    Labour says it will replace business rates with a new system of business property taxation. It says it will “rebalance the burden” faced by high street businesses and also “level the playing field”.

  2. 2

    Revamp empty shops, pubs and community spaces

    Labour says it will give communities a new ‘right to buy’ community assets.

Our response

Allen Simpson, Deputy Chief Executive, UKHospitality

Allen Simpson, Deputy Chief Executive, UKHospitality

Allen Simpson, Deputy Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “Hospitality helps create places where people want to live, work and invest, but too often policies make it expensive to run businesses in the heart of communities.

“We’re pleased to see this focus on high streets and fixing the broken business rates system.

“The current system is archaic and unfairly penalises businesses that have a physical presence in communities, like hospitality. It’s clear that the current system is in urgent need of reform.

“We need to see governments in Westminster, Edinburgh and Cardiff, alongside local authorities, do all they can to rebalance and reduce the costs that businesses are paying.

“Reforming business rates is an ideal place to start and will enable businesses to spend more of their available cash on investment, rather than just paying the bills.”