Responding to proposals on business rates, training and devolution in the Liberal Democrat manifesto, Co-Executive Director Hannah Essex said: 

“The UK’s unfair business rates system – which hits firms hard before they turn over a single pound – is pushing many firms close to the edge, stalling investment and holding back growth.  Any moves to reduce the burden would be welcome and should be shaped by businesses to deliver a fundamental reduction in their costs.  All parties should commit to a fundamental review of business rates.

“Better childcare provision and more investment in skills training will also be welcomed by businesses – but must be designed to keep costs down for hard-pressed enterprises.

“Businesses would also welcome a greater say in decisions on planning and infrastructure in the areas where they operate, so that local policy meets the needs of employers and communities.”