Labour vows to rip up business rates and take over empty high street shops in fresh push to woo the private sector | The Sun

LABOUR will tomorrow vow to boost Britain's economy by ripping up business rates and taking over empty high street shops.

In a major speech in Essex, Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds will outline his party's plan for small and medium enterprises, at the first of a series of "business roadshows" to be held across the country.

Mr Reynolds will pledge to crackdown on late payments to small biz owners through tough new laws.

And he'll promise to scrap business rates in favour of a system that "rewards expansion rather than disincentivising it".

The shadow minister will also pledge to boost skills by creating new technical excellence colleges.

Specialists there will work with industry to ensure youngsters are being taught the precise skills needed in their area.

Mr Reynolds will also promise to trigger a high street boom – revitalising the decaying hubs of local towns and cities across the country.

Councillors will be given permission to take over empty shops without owners' permission.

And each town centre will be watched over by new high street police patrols.

To boost opportunities for construction workers and the property industry a promise to build 1.5 million homes over the next parliament is also to be made.

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Mr Reynolds will say: "It is my absolute conviction, that the major economic issues before us – low investment, poor productivity, and low growth – can only be fixed with a better relationship between Government and the private sector.

"That is why Labour is committed to backing British business. 

"That means reforming business rates so that they reward expansion.

"And making rates much more market responsive so they react to real world conditions not spreadsheets in Whitehall."

The shadow minister will add: “Britain is brimming with driven entrepreneurs and Labour will work hand in hand with them to ensure the next Labour Government is offering the firm foundations they need to prosper and grow."

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