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MP hails conference pledges

Alex Sobel has hailed the Labour Party commitment to scrap business rates, as ‘game changing’ for businesses in Yeadon, Otley and Wharfedale.

Speaking from the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Alex said “I am delighted to stand on this pledge to scrap business rates. I have spoken to so many small business owners in Otley, Yeadon and across Leeds North West who struggle with the high level of rates that they need to pay.

This has driven many out of our high streets already, with only charity shops, who are exempt from business rates, and large businesses able to maintain workable shop fronts. I want to see towns like Otley thriving once more, providing people with great local options, and offering new employment within the town. This policy would be game changing.”

The policy to scrap rates, replacing it with a fairer system was announced by the Shadow Chancellor and neighbouring Leeds MP Rachel Reeves at Labour Party Conference. It has been welcomed by industry bodies with Tony Danker, Director General of the CBI saying “Change to this outdated system is chronically overdue.

The Labour Party should be applauded for grasping the nettle and putting forward a pro-growth, pro-investment package of reforms.” Mike Cherry, National Chair of the Federation for small business added “This proposal marks a welcome call to action that would take more small businesses out of the regressive rates system and rightly looks ahead to more fundamental reform.”

Alex also welcomed the commitment to tackle the Climate Emergency, with the announcement that the next Labour Government would invest £28 billion of capital expenditure on green jobs. Alex, who is chair of the All Party Group on Net Zero, also addressed concerns around the upcoming UN Climate Conference, COP26.

Speaking at SERA, Labour’s environment campaign, he said “COP26 is the last, best chance to turn the tide on the climate crisis. The Tories are very poor at delivering. We are not a lone voice; the private sector is saying this: the Government is behind on delivery. The Labour Party in all its forms are there, be it on a council, select committees, we’re doing everything we can.”


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