The party had already committee to freezing rates at 2014 levels for these properties, funded by halting a planned cut in corporation tax. At this week’s annual conference it announced that the rates cut can be deeper because the corporation tax cut is now expected to be more expensive than previously thought. Responding to the announcement Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium said: “We are heartened that Labour has listened to retailers’ concerns on business rates. “As well as leading the debate on fundamental change, the BRC has been strongly encouraging the continuation of an immediate package for retailers to support the high street and it is very welcome to hear it announced.” “UK business rates are the highest property taxes of any EU country and lead directly to vacant shops and job losses. It is widely agreed that the system is no longer fit for purpose and requires total reform.”
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