Speaking at an event this afternoon organised by the Federation of Small Businesses, Reeves said the Government’s priority has been cutting corporation tax for corporates, while ignoring small businesses.
Reeves said: “Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. They’re where future profits, employment come from. Labour in government would do all it can to support small businesses so you can grow to create prosperity throughout the country.”
“I would like to see the priority of business taxation to help smaller businesses and start-up businesses, rather than cutting corporation tax, which benefits larger businesses,” Reeves said.
McTeague said: “Business rates are a broken system, past its sell-by date. The best first step would be to stop indexing business rates, they can start eroding the impact. It’s a pretty modest first step but it’s something that Government could do.”
Reeves said: “I would like to see HMRC go after big corporations and move smaller businesses to the back of the queue. There’s an issue about a level playing field. If you’re HMRC, it’s easier to go after a sole trader who hasn’t got the resources compared to someone who has big legal teams.
“People want thriving town centres. People are worried about the hollowing out of their communities and that town centre begins to die. Let’s find more creative at a local government level using business rates.”
Supreme Court decision
Speaking on the afternoon that the Supreme Court declared Government’s proroguing of Parliament to be illegal, Reeves called the decision “fantastic news”, adding that MPs could get back to work tomorrow asking MPs difficult questions about business, such as this week’s collapse of Thomas Cook.
Reeves and McTeague agreed that government procurement also needs reform, with more contracts going to small businesses. The Labour MP said government should only procure from companies that are signatories to the Prompt Payment Code, and that if services are going to be outsourced to the private sector, then private firms should sign up to a set of commitments, including paying subcontractors on time.
Labour small business minister: ‘Boris just says whatever pops into his head’