Business rates news 31st March 2015

Labour is set to pledge to reverse the Government's final cut in corporation tax in order to pay for a reduction in rates for 1.5m small businesses. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is set today to promise smaller businesses they will be the first to benefit from future tax cuts if Labour wins May's General Election. Balls is expected to say today that reversing the corporation tax cut would allow Labour to cut business rates on 1.5m small business premises. Labour will say that 17 small firms would benefit from the cut for every large business helped by the reduction in corporation tax. Labour will also argue that the coalition spent £7bn over the last parliament cutting the main rate of corporation tax to the benefit of larger firms, while revenues from business rates rose by £3bn. Balls is expected to say: "Unleashing the potential of smaller businesses to grow, create more good jobs and raise living standards is a vital part of Labour's better plan. "This is part of our plan to deliver a simpler and fairer tax system for small businesses. This is the right priority when money is tight. "And it will mean that the tax burden on small businesses will be lower with Labour than under the Tories." The announcement comes a day after the launch of Labour’s business manifesto. Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at property consultancy Gerald Eve, said: “Ed Miliband’s plan to cut and freeze business rates for more than 1.5m small business properties is unlikely to woo many firms into voting Labour, given that on average his proposals equate to a saving of £1.72 per week during the next year. “His manifesto for business claims this will enable companies to ‘invest, innovate and raise their productivity. He is expecting an awful lot for £1.72.”