MPs call for business rates cut in 2021 Budget

A total of 45 MPs in England are calling for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut business rates in England from 50 per cent of the market rent to 35 per cent in the 2021 Budget.

They argue that cutting this tax will help to “save the High Streets” in the upcoming months.

Last year, as part of the emergency pandemic measures, the Government introduced business rates holiday, for those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England. This break is due to end in April 2021.

While coronavirus-related restrictions are in place, which prohibits many businesses from opening until 17 May at the earliest, Sunak promised to extend business support.

However, according to a spokesperson, the Chancellor did not set out any plans for further support in his pre-Budget speech.

In two days, on 3 March, Sunak will set out the Government’s spending and tax plans after a year of high Government-borrowing and a significant financial disturbance due to the pandemic.

Many experts argue that raising taxes could hinder the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19, but former Chancellor Ken Clarke states that taxes need to increase to repair public finances.

The cross-party group of MPs announced on 28 February a £5 billion grant scheme to help High Street shops and hospitality reopen as the lockdown eases. They also stated that taxes may need rising at a later date.

The treasury committee says now “is not the time for tax rises”.

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