Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna is asking George Osborne to take a closer look at the small businesses and the high street and cut down the business rates to make sure that they can survive. It is no big secret that the high street has been on the decline for the past several years, but Umunna wants to make sure that they have some chance at revival. He believes that a change in tax structure may be all that is needed to bring the high street back to life in many cities.
Labour is general is now asking George Osborne to match the pledge that the party has already made about helping reduce the business rates that are drowning small businesses. According to Umunna, the higher business rates that continue to increase annually are causing a great deal of local shops on the high street to close because they cannot afford their taxes.
He went on to say that local communities are dying out because all of their independent shops are closing up and there is no sense of community in town any more. This hurts the community overall because not only is the money leaving communities instead of staying within, but it means that community shopping and fraternizing is a thing of the past.
The Chancellor has been facing an increasing amount of pressure over the last few months to offer small businesses and shops some help by freezing the business rates they are forced to pay. New senior figures released by the retail industry reveal that business tax is now the most expensive cost that shops have to pay. In fact, business tax is a higher cost then rental space making it a very large contributor to the redundancy of many companies.