Speaking to Labour’s annual conference in Brighton, Rachel Reeves – Shadow Chancellor said:
“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.
“Our high street businesses 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.”
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“Labour’s fundamental reform of unfair business taxes will provide much needed support for our high streets up and down the country and ensure that online giants pay their fair share. It is something we have long called for and we’re delighted that Labour is listening, because bricks and mortar retailers are currently saddled with huge tax bills, while online retailers rake in billions, but pay little in UK tax.
“The retail industry now faces unprecedented challenges, with the very real prospect that the heart of our communities will be ripped out and that the livelihoods of millions of people across the country will be shattered. Some huge names have already disappeared from our high streets, taking with them thousands of jobs, from many thousands of dedicated workers. In the UK this year alone, more than 20,000 retail workers have been made redundant. That's on top of 180,000 job losses in 2020. It is projected that by the end of this year there will have been 400,000 retail jobs lost in 24 months.
“There needs to be serious government interventions, but so far we have seen little from this Government. No lifeline to an industry in crisis. Today Rachel Reeves has shown that only Labour will deliver for our high streets, so we need them in government as soon as possible and before it is too late.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 380,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
Usdaw’s Save our Shops campaign: www.usdaw.org.uk/Campaigns/Save-Our-Shops-(1)
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion