Steve Double welcomes pledge by Secretary of State for Communities on support for local high streets and shopping parades

Steve Double, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for St Austell and Newquay, has welcomed the pledge from the Secretary of State for Communities that a Conservative Government will help high streets, shopping parades and corner shops.

New local analysis shows how business rates are to be cut for shops across England:

Cutting business rates on local shops: The average shop will save £8,400 in business rates from next April under a turbo-charged retail rate relief, halving bills for local firms. Hundreds of small music venues and cinemas which currently pay business rates will also now qualify for the retail relief discount, helping to cut their costs. Pubs will also benefit from a further £1,000 rates cut on top on of the retail rate relief. Business rates are the third biggest outgoing for firms after rent and staffing costs.

Cutting the costs of hiring shop staff: Conservatives are also pledging to cut the “jobs tax” on hiring staff. Shops pay National Insurance on their employees’ earnings. The Employment Allowance will be raised from £3,000 to £4,000, which will provide a tax cut of up to £1,000 for more than half a million businesses. This will amount to almost a half a billion-pound tax cut for small firms.

Helping shops renovate premises: On top of this, taxes will be cut on doing up shops’ premises. Since 2018, the Structures and Buildings Allowance gives tax relief to businesses on the purchase, building or leasing of a structure. It includes renovation, repair and conversion costs, and fitting out works. Conservatives will increase the allowance from 2 to 3 per cent, to give a significant boost to investment in shops’ premises.

New government funds to support towns: On top of tax cuts, a £3.6 billion Towns Fund will go to an initial 100 towns to improve their local economy and support their town centres. A new Safer Streets Fund will invest in preventative measures like new CCTV or community wardens. And to boost new civic infrastructure, the largest cultural capital programme in a century will provide £250 million to help local libraries and regional museums.

Commenting, Steve said:

“The Conservatives have always been the party of business and it is clear that under a future Conservative Government, businesses will be better off. These measures will boost our many small businesses in Mid-Cornwall and as a result enhance and grow the communities they are located in.”

Commenting, Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said:

“Local shops are at the heart of our communities, but have faced tough competition from the rise in online shopping. We will cut taxes on local shops – so they pay less in business rates, reduce job taxes and make it cheaper to do up their properties.”

“A Conservative majority government will get Brexit done immediately, and unleash Britain’s potential. We will stand up for the parts of our county and community which have been left behind.”