Lib Dems demand tax cuts for small businesses in Leeds

Lib Dems call for tax cuts for 10,300 small businesses in Leeds 

  • In the wake of Small Business Saturday, local Lib Dems call for small businesses in Leeds to be given a tax cut, saving them an average of £5,000.

  • The tax cut would help businesses including local restaurants suffering from Christmas cancellations following new Covid restrictions

  • Figures reveal hit to businesses in Leeds from Conservative National Insurance tax rise

Following on from Small Business Saturday, the Liberal Democrats have called for taxes to be slashed on small businesses. Local Liberal Democrats have backed the proposals which would benefit over 10,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs in Leeds, from cafes and restaurants to high street shops.

The proposed tax cut would save small businesses an average of £5,000 a year by aiding them with staff costs. It would be achieved by quadrupling the Employment Allowance to £16,000 for a period of two years. This would allow a small business to employ five people on an average salary without paying any National Insurance contributions. 1.1 million businesses would be eligible for this tax cut, which would save them an estimated £5.5 billion next year.

It comes as a record number of small businesses say they are struggling with rising costs whilst new Covid restrictions loom, according to a recent survey by the Federation of Small Businesses. Local restaurants have also reported a surge in Christmas bookings being cancelled, setting owners back thousands of pounds. 

Meanwhile, the Conservatives have announced small businesses will have to pay more National Insurance contributions in the new year, despite facing a tough winter. Research by the House of Commons Library has shown the Conservative plans are set to hit an estimated 10,000 local businesses in Leeds with a £25.5 million tax bombshell. 

Cllr Stewart Golton, Liberal Democrat Group Leader on Leeds City Council, said:

“Our local shops and restaurants are the backbone of our community and must be helped through a tough winter. Businesses across Leeds, particularly in town centres like Rothwell where I represent, are struggling with mounting bills and worries about the impact of the new Covid variant in the coming weeks. We need to help them now with a big and bold offer.

District centres like Horsforth and Otley already suffered neglect from Labour-controlled Leeds City Council’s city centre obsession. It is now a double whammy that local businesses are being forced to pay even more tax by this Conservative government. We should help small businesses who have already suffered so much during the pandemic. That is why I am backing calls for our local businesses to receive a tax cut.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey MP, said:

“Cafes, shops and start-ups are all looking at this winter with dread, yet all Boris Johnson can muster up is a massive new tax bill. The Conservatives must be living on another planet if they think the answer to business owners’ problems is to put up their taxes. 

“This country was promised tax cuts by the Conservatives, but yet again their promises have been proven not to be worth the paper they are written on. 

“People and businesses need help now. I want to give our dedicated local business owners and entrepreneurs a helping hand, and to truly unleash Britain’s potential.”