Karin Smyth MP calls on the Government to scrap and reform business rates to support Bristol businesses 

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has called on the Government to do more to support businesses in Bristol following two years of disruption during the pandemic.  

As businesses struggle under increasing energy costs, cripplingly high inflation, waves of cancellations and higher taxes leaving many unnecessarily on the brink of collapse, the Government is providing inadequate support and is failing businesses around the country.  Karin Smyth has echoed calls from the Labour Party on the Government to scrap and reform business rates to alleviate the debt burden on businesses by allowing them flexibility on Government loans.

This week the Labour Party announced their plan to support businesses through this crisis and fix the broken energy market to help British businesses prosper once again.  The current gas price crisis is global, but ten years of the Conservative’s failed energy policy has left the UK uniquely exposed, making small businesses and working families take the brunt of the crisis.  

As part of a fully-costed plan, a Labour Government would create a £600 million contingency fund to support struggling firms, including those which are energy intensive.  They would also freeze business rates this year, saving the average small shop or factory £4000, replacing it with a fairer system fit for the 21st century, ensuring online giants and bricks and mortar shops are on a level playing field. 

The Conservative Party couldn’t even be bothered to turn up for the vote on these proposals on 11 January 2022.


Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said: 

“Businesses in Bristol South have been hit hard by rising energy bills, tax rises, stock shortages and cancellations over the last two years, leaving many on the brink of collapse. 

“It’s an absolute disgrace that for a whole week after Plan B was introduced, the Government behaved as though nothing had changed and referred businesses to the same limited existing support package when so many were clearly in distress as a result of new restrictions and falling demand.

“This cannot continue, our businesses deserve more support to get our high streets thriving again.  Whilst the Tory Government has been asleep at the wheel, Labour has a plan to support businesses and get the economy firing on all cylinders again. 

“By making, buying and selling more in Britain, we can fulfil our ambitions for creating a bustling economy that drives our country forward.  Through freezing business rates for the rest of the year, we can give businesses the breathing space they need to get back on their feet, followed by the implementation of a fairer system that puts everyone on a level footing.

“Conservative MPs in our region couldn’t even be bothered to turn up for the vote in Parliament, but I was proud to vote in favour of these measures. I will continue to work tirelessly for Bristol businesses.”