Business secretary indicates George Osborne is set to announce something positive on business rates for small companies in December.
Vince Cable has suggested that Osborne is preparing to hand local small businesses relief on their business rates in the upcoming autumn statement.
It has been said that new help for small businesses struggling with high business rates could be announced by the Chancellor in November following protracted discussions with the Liberal Democrats.
Mr Cable was asked whether local businesses who wanted to invest in their struggling high streets could be given business rate rebates to match any money they put in.
Cable said he had hoped to offer something concrete on business rates for small businesses this week but has not ironed out final deal with the chancellor.
He stated “On business rates I had hoped at conference that we would be able to announce sorting that would really help small businesses on business rates, because this is a real problem area. We haven’t quite got to the conclusions of these discussions but I think there will be something positive in the pipeline at the autumn statement.”
Business rates are a key election issue with businesses and the Government is under growing pressure to reform the controversial tax.
Ed Miliband has made an effort to appeal to small businesses by pledging to scrap a planned inflation-linked rise in rates due in April 2015, and will freeze rates at the 2014 level.
Osborne has committed to a review of the tax by 2017. However, experts have said that this is not enough and that unaffordable rates are “crippling small businesses.”
Tesco, Marks and Spencer and General Motors signed an open letter next month telling the Chancellor that business rates are “no longer fit for purpose for the 21st century”, and must be revamped in order to “unleash investment.”