Scrap business rates to save Manchester high streets under pressure "like never before"

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to scrap business rates in a bid to save Manchester's high street which has come under pressure "like never before".

It comes as the BDO High Streets Tracker has revealed that sales declined by 3.7%, making it the worst February for lifestyle in-store sales since November 2008.

Coupled with numerous closures and company collapses in Manchester, the Lib Dems have said it is way past time to change business rate.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Manchester, Greg Stanton, said:

“Thanks to a combination of long-term structural challenges and the damaging effects of Brexit uncertainty, Manchester's high streets are under pressure like never before.

"Even beloved chains like HMV and Kendals are struggling in today's climate and immediate action is needed to save jobs and ensure our high streets can thrive once again

"In our 2019 manifesto, we will pledge to scrap business rates and replace them with a tax on land value, reform restrictive planning rules, and provide additional support for local entrepreneurs allowing our high streets to thrive in an increasingly digital market."

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