image source, PA Media

image captionLabour wants to breathe new life into High Streets

A Labour government would cut business rates in England and then phase them out completely, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will say later.

The party wants to boost the High Street by axing what it views as an outdated tax that harms business.

It plans a new tax on commercial property and a tax hike on tech giants.

Ms Reeves will tell Labour’s conference in Brighton: “Labour will tax fairly, spend wisely, and get our economy firing on all cylinders.”

The conference has so far been dominated by a row over Sir Keir Starmer’s plans to change the way leaders and MPs are selected.

The Labour leader got a watered-down version of the plans passed by conference, despite fierce opposition from left-wingers.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner also grabbed headlines on Sunday when she said she would not apologise for branding Boris Johnson “scum” until the prime minister retracted past comments she described as homophobic, racist and misogynistic.

In a speech on Monday, Ms Reeves will attempt to shift the focus on to policy.

image source, Getty Images

image captionRachel Reeves will unveil new tax policies

Under Labour’s plan, the party would freeze business rates in England until 2023 and make rates relief for smaller firms more generous.

It then wants to eventually scrap rates completely, replacing them with a new “modern” business tax – which it is yet to define.

The party says its plans would be paid for by increasing digital services tax – paid by search engines and social media firms – from 2% to 12% next year, replaced by a higher global corporation tax rate agreed as part of an international scheme.

She will tell conference the package amounts to the “biggest overhaul of business taxation in a generation”, allowing businesses to “lead the pack, not watch opportunities go elsewhere.”

She will promise that the party’s new business tax will allow “more frequent revaluations” and “instant reductions in bills” where property values fall.

Income tax pledge

Ms Reeves is not expected to mention personal taxes in her conference address.

But, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she repeated a pledge she made on Sunday that Labour has “no plans whatsoever” to raise income tax.

Interviewed by Andrew Marr on Sunday, Sir Keir did not rule out tax rises if Labour wins power, but promised they would “not unfairly hit working families”.

Asked about his comments, Ms Reeves said Labour’s leader had not wanted to “go through all different taxes and say ‘yes’, ‘no’, and write the manifesto” on live TV.

In her conference speech, Ms Reeves will also announce plans to scrap “hundreds” of tax breaks – and set up an “Office of Value for Money”, which aides describe as a “hit squad” to scrutinise government spending and ensure tax is used wisely.

Tax reliefs “create extra layers of complexity to navigate, and added together they cost more than our entire NHS budget,” she will tell delegates.

“We will look at every single tax break. If it doesn’t deliver for the taxpayer or for the economy then we will scrap it.”

Labour would also end the tax relief afforded to private schools due to their charitable status – and plans to raise almost £440m by closing the carried interest loophole, which relates to private equity fund managers and the share of profits made by investment deals.

The policies were welcomed by the Federation for Small Businesses, whose national chair Mike Cherry said: “The shadow chancellor is right to propose concrete reform of a business rates tax which disproportionately burdens the small businesses and sole traders at the heart of local communities.”

But Conservative Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden said: “Successive Labour leaders have threatened businesses with tax hikes, higher bills, and more red tape.

“Only the Conservatives can be trusted to support our businesses and help our economy thrive as we build back better.”