Lib Dems call on Chancellor to breathe new life into high streets

Ahead of the budget, the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Chancellor to scrap business rates, replace them with a landowner levy and "breathe new life" into high streets in Cornwall.

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, has warned that "the retail sector sounded the alarm bell on business rates a long time ago and Brexit has made these pressures even worse" and urged the Chancellor to support high streets in the Budget.

The Liberal Democrats want to replace business rates with a commercial landowner levy, based on the value of the land only. This would take the cost off businesses and help support high streets. By taxing landowners rather than businesses, half a million small businesses across the country would be spared the burden of property taxation.

The proposals would cut taxes for businesses by 20% in Cornwall.

Ruth Gripper, Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Truro and Falmouth said:

"We're all aware of the challenges the high street is facing. Shops and small businesses in Truro and Falmouth are feeling the pressure from economic uncertainty, the rise of online shopping and the burden of business rates.

"We have some fantastic independent businesses here in Cornwall but the Government is not doing enough to ensure businesses can thrive.

"That is why Liberal Democrats are campaigning to create the environment needed for local businesses to grow, support our town centres and create jobs in Cornwall."

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