Small Firms Give Labour Plans For Business Rates Reform A Warm Reception

Responding to the Labour Party’s proposals to increase the ceiling for small business rates relief to a rateable value of £25,000, ahead of more fundamental reform, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Mike Cherry said:

“The Shadow Chancellor is right to propose concrete reform of a business rates tax which disproportionately burdens the small businesses and sole traders at the heart of local communities.

“It’s good to see that the Opposition has adopted our proposal to increase the ceiling for small business rates relief to £25,000, which we submitted to the Government’s fundamental review. The gauntlet has been thrown down by the Opposition, and we hope Government Ministers are listening. This is what a pro-small business tax policy looks like.

“Business rates is a regressive tax that hits firms before they’ve made a pound in turnover, let alone profit, whilst disincentivising sustainable investment. This proposal marks a welcome call to action that would take more small businesses out of the regressive rates system and rightly looks ahead to more fundamental reform.”

Commenting on wider tax reform, Mike Cherry said:

“Tax simplification is long overdue. In taking it forward, avoiding unintended consequences is a must. It will also be crucial to make sure taxes designed for large firms aren’t simply avoided, with the bill forwarded to their small business customers. We saw this with the Digital Services Tax last summer, when Amazon passed the 2% cost onto small businesses, later followed by an increase in their payment terms to rub salt into the wound.