Caulfield calls on Chancellor to support the high street

Maria Caulfield has recently called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reform the business rates system to aid high street retailers.

During Treasury questions in the House of Commons last week, Philip Hammond reiterated his plan of £1.5 billion for the high street, as outlined in the Budget last month, which includes a cut to business rates for independent retailers by one-third for two years from April 2019.

However, the MP for Lewes wants to see the Government take this a step further. During her question, she said the current business rates system is “not working for the high street”. She suggested an introducing a ‘transaction tax’ to create a level playing field between online businesses and those with a premises on the high street.

Following Treasury questions, Maria said, “It saddens me that whilst we see giant corporations like Starbucks and Amazon not paying their fair share of tax, our high streets are struggling immensely and businesses are frequently closing.”

“I sincerely hope that the Chancellor has taken my suggestion on board, as the Government must do all it can to defend the smaller retailers. It is incumbent on the Chancellor to take ambitious steps to preserve our high streets and encourage new businesses to open.”