general election

Tories confirm business rates review to 'back small firms'

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Tories confirm business rates review to 'back small firms'

Related tags Minimum wage Conservative party Gordon brown

Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed that the business rates review will “back small firms” by ensuring there is clearer billing, better communication and a more efficient appeal system.

Speaking at the launch of the Conservative Party manifesto in the West Country today, Cameron said the major review, which will take place by the end of this year with a view for implementation in 2017, will also allow local councils to keep a higher proportion of the business rates revenue that is generated in their area.

Cameron also promised to raise the income tax threshold to £12,500 and pass a law so nobody working 30 hours on the minimum wage pays income tax on what they earn, if the Conservatives remain in power following the general election.

He added that the national minimum wage would increase from £6.50 to over £8 by the end of the decade. Labour leader Ed Miliband yesterday pledged to raise the wage to more than £8 by October 2019.

Cameron also pledged to support business improvement districts and other business-led collaborations on high streets, buy giving these firms more say on issues such as minor planning applications, cleaning and parking.

He added that he would treble Start Up Loans, which he claims would enable 75,000 entrepreneurs to borrow money to set up their own business.
Cameron stressed there would be no increase in VAT, national insurance or income tax – the same pledges Miliband made yesterday - but said he would raise the 40p income tax threshold to £50,000. He also opposed Labour’s plans to increase corporation tax.

Earlier today the PMA revealed that the Conservative Party would also freeze the cost of a premises licence and establish a new pub loan fund to help support groups applying to run a pub as a community asset.

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