Liberal Democrats launch plan to save our City Centre and High Streets

22 Jun 2024
Ali Avaei and Sir Vince Cable

  Newcastle is known for its dynamic high streets and historic markets, is at a crossroads. The local businesses that form the backbone of the community are facing a dual challenge: the longstanding burden of business rates and the escalating costs of energy. The Liberal Democrats, under the leadership of Sir Ed Davey, propose a radical change to reinvigorate these high streets: the abolition of business rates and the introduction of a Commercial Landowner Levy.

This new levy represents a shift in the tax burden from the hardworking tenants to the commercial property owners. It’s a move that could breathe new life into the high streets of Newcastle upon Tyne Central and West, filling vacant properties and restoring the town centres to their bustling best.

The presence of former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable, alongside local candidate Ali Avaei, underscores the party’s commitment to this cause. Sir Vince, known for his economic acumen and advocacy for fairer taxes during his tenure, lends weight to this policy. His recent visit to Northumbria University in Newcastle highlighted the broader challenges facing the region, including the need for supportive measures for education and local enterprises.

The Liberal Democrats’ plan is not just a fiscal policy but a vision for the future of Newcastle upon Tyne Central and West. It’s a promise to the local economy, a pledge to encourage investment and a commitment to the community. The proposed levy aligns with the needs of the high street, offering a tangible solution to support local businesses and communities.

As the city gears up for the General Election, the debate on business rates reform is set to be a focal point. The Liberal Democrats, with their credible plan for reforming business taxes, stand ready to champion the change that Newcastle upon Tyne Central and West so desperately needs.

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