A new tax on online retail giants and business rates cuts were among Budget measures I fought for to boost high streets in Dover and Deal.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a 2% rate against sales large digital companies make in the UK. It follows my long campaign in Parliament to ensure big corporations pay a fairer share of tax. In July I told a Treasury Select Committee hearing that the likes of Amazon and eBay had an unfair competitive tax advantage.
Small business owners in Dover and Deal work tirelessly to make a success of their shops, cafes and restaurants. I have raised this issue with the Treasury many, many times, yet they kept waiting for the European Commission to do something. They have finally heeded my calls and taken this action unilaterally, so it is a great step forward. We must do everything we can to support the great British high street.
Mr Hammond also announced a package of business rates relief – another issue I campaigned heavily on in a bid to boost the high streets of Dover and Deal. Rates will be cut by a third for two years for shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes in England with a rateable value of less than £51,000. Alongside, new mandatory business rates will be relieved for all toilets made available for public use. It was another specific issue I took up after Dover Town Council complained to him the rates were an "unsustainable burden", with its kiosk on the seafront subjected to a recent £70 monthly increase.
Yet again we had these needless, unfair taxes while huge corporations paid none at all. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy – creating jobs and feeding families in Dover and Deal and all over the country. They must be supported.
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