Speaking to the CBI today, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson announced that the Liberal Democrats would scrap business rates entirely to breathe new life into our high streets.
The Liberal Democrats would abolish business rates and replace them with a commercial landowner levy, based on the value of the land only. This would take the cost off businesses and help support our high streets.
The change would cut taxes in 92% of local authorities and help rebalance the UK economy.
The Commercial Landowner Levy would give a big boost to the manufacturing sector and make it cheaper for all businesses to invest in renewables or other new technology for their premises.
In her speech, she also set out plans to spend £130bn on infrastructure, including housebuilding, and £5bn for a new Green Investment Bank to invest in zero-carbon projects.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:
“Liberal Democrats are committed to helping small businesses, who are the engine of our economy.
“That is why Liberal Democrats would scrap business rates and replace them with a Commercial Landowner Levy. “It will shift the burden from the tenant to the landlord, so that we can breathe new life into our high streets.
"Frankly, we have seen enough promises of reviews of business rates from the Conservatives. It is time for clear action that will give proper help to our small businesses.”
“We’ll invest £130bn in infrastructure over five years. We’ll use that to improve our railways and open up new lines. To reduce how much energy our buildings use.
“And we’ll use it to leverage private investment in renewables, to help us meet our target of generating 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030.
"And as part of our radical and credible plan to reach net-zero emissions as soon as possible, we will make the UK a global leader in green jobs and technology.
“A Liberal Democrat government will work with you to open up new opportunities for green growth and to save our planet. We will invest £5bn in zero-carbon projects through the Green Investment bank.
“We are the last generation that can stop irreversible climate change, and we are running out of time.
“And while there is much that government can do, I am clear that the business community is absolutely part of the solution.
“Not least because we need to channel your ingenuity and entrepreneurialism to take on this huge challenge, and others we face.
"And my vision is for a country where business joins forces with government, public services and civil society to create the kind of society we deserve.”