BRITAIN’S struggling high streets will be thrown a lifeline if Jeremy Hunt becomes the next Prime Minister.
Thousands of shops will save an £6,500 a year under plans to scrap business rates for smallest traders.
3 PM hopeful Jeremy Hunt said his radical plan to cut business rates for high street shops will give our town centres the ‘lease of life’ that they needCredit: AFP
Nine out of ten town centre shops would benefit from the cut – including newsagents, bakers, butchers, chemists, and post offices.
Mr Hunt believes it would breathe new life into ghost towns and protect tens of thousands of jobs at risk from shop closures in a victory for The Sunday’s “Save our High Streets” campaign.
The Foreign Secretary, who is going head-to-head with Boris Johnson to replace Theresa May in Number 10, will unveil his rescue plan this week.
200,000 JOBS AT STAKE
He said: “It was once said Britain was a nation of shopkeepers but if we don’t act this will no longer be the case.
“Too many small businesses are being put out of business by tax bills they can’t afford to pay.
“My blueprint will give a new lease of life to the British high street and give our hard-working local businesses an enormous cash boost.”
Experts have warned that High streets face the loss of 200,000 jobs unless the government acts to revive traditional town centres hit by the rise of internet shopping.
While many people choose to shop online, there is a clear demand for a local choice too. The current system leaves shopkeepers out of a job and can deprive local people of places to spend time with friends and familyJeremy Hunt
Mr Hunt’s plan to save our shops will remove taxes on 5,000 businesses in Birmingham, 60,000 in Leeds, 2,000 in Newcastle, 8,000 in Manchester and 3,500 in Bristol.
He has already set out plans to cut corporation tax, giving businesses of all sizes a benefit if he wins the Tory leadership race.
His proposal will see his government reform the current Retail Discount rate by retaining the qualifying rateable value threshold at £51,000.
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But rather than give those businesses a third off their bill, the whole bill will be cancelled, covering 90 per cent of this type of business.
Mr Hunt added: “While many people choose to shop online, there is a clear demand for a local choice too.
“And the current system leaves the taxpayer out of pocket, shopkeepers out of a job and can deprive local people of places to spend time with friends and family.”
3 Experts have sounded the alarm bells on Britain’s high streets, warning that 200,000 jobs are on the line unless the government intervenes to save themCredit: Getty – Contributor
3 Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, vying to be the next Tory leader, hopes that reaching out to towns becoming hollowed out across the country will give him the edge among the 160,000 Tory members over clear favourite Boris JohnsonCredit: EPA
Jeremy Hunt delivers hustings speech and lists his goals he will pursue if he becomes a Prime Minister