Federation of Small Businesses in Kent and Medway welcome Ed Miliband's plans for £800m tax break for small firms
Ed Milibands plans to offer an £800 million tax break to small firms have been hailed as a welcome first step by business leaders in the county.
At his party's conference in Brighton later today, the Labour leader will say if his party wins the next general election, his first act will be to reverse a hike in business rates due in April 2015.
The pledge will help about 1.5 million small firms and would be paid for by scrapping the coalition Government’s planned cut in corporation tax from 21% to 20%.
Ed Miliband making a speech at the market in Gravesend.
Yet business representatives in the county say more reform on business rates are needed to help small firms.
Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses in Kent and Medway Roger House said: “We welcome the focus by the Labour leadership on business rates.
“This critical issue for small businesses affects thousands of our members across Kent and Medway and is one which we’ve been lobbying on for some time.
“Whilst we welcome today’s announcement, the long-term solution is one that requires root and branch reform, including the Valuation Office Agency. The system is clearly no longer fit for purpose.
“We know that many firms are struggling to pay business rates and FSB research suggests 7% of members pay more in rates than rent and that cannot be right.
“In addition many small businesses are being forced by local authorities to pay the rates when its beyond their means.”
The FSB is the UK’s leading business organisation, with 6,500 members in Kent and Medway and around 200,000 members throughout the UK.
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