Labour has invited industry groups for an emergency summit on business rates tomorrow

Mark Sands
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Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell Delivers His Keynote Speech To Labour Party Conference
McDonnell will meet the Institute of Directors and the Federation of Small Business among other groups (Source: Getty)

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has convened an emergency roundtable on business rates tomorrow in a bid to increase the pressure on the government to implement reforms.

McDonnell will lead the summit alongside newly appointed shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, meeting with groups including the Institute of Directors, Federation of Small Businesses and the British Chamber of Commerce tomorrow.

And ahead of the meeting, Labour has published a list of potential business rate reforms, including a rapid move from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index to lower bills, and more regular valuations to stop dramatic hikes.

Read More: Culture shock: How London's theatres will be squeezed by business rate hike

Speaking ahead of the meeting, FSB national chairman Mike Cherry said: “Business rates are an outdated tax. FSB is keen for all political parties to help those small firms hardest hit by the current revaluation, and to start to focus on fundamental longer-term reform of business rates to make sure it’s fair for small firms.

“It is incredibly important to support small businesses and the self-employed so they don’t face shock tax rises, so we are delighted to take part in the roundtable.”

The government has already promised a £3.6bn transition fund, and communities secretary Sajid Javid last week hinted that chancellor Philip Hammond would bring forward new protections for hardest hit firms at next month's Budget.

Javid told MPs in the House of Commons that he was working with Hammond on further measures, although it remains unclear whether this will represent a reorganisation of current support plans, rather than fresh spending.

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