Labour to launch five-point plan to breathe new life into high streets

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Cutting business rates and energy bills, plus stamping out late payments are among measures outlined in a new plan by Labour which the party pledged would “get our high streets thriving again”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will visit Great Yarmouth on Wednesday as the party launches its five-point plan to “revitalise local high streets”, warning “thousands of pubs, shops and bank branches” have closed.

A Police Efficiency and Collaboration Programme would, the party said, combat anti-social behaviour and “deliver over £350 million in procurement and shared services savings” to be used to pay for 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs.

Labour, it added, would also introduce “tough new laws to stamp out late payments and make sure more money gets to high street firms” and give councils “strong new powers to bring empty shops on their high streets back into use”.

To help cut energy bills, Labour said it would introduce vouchers for energy efficiency measures including “double glazing at a local cinema, a new heat pump in a cafe or an electric vehicle for a takeaway”.

Sir Keir said: “Britain’s businesses already give so much to our economy, and hold a huge amount of potential and promise just waiting to be unlocked.

“But they’re being held back by 13 years of Tory economic failure. The Tories crashed the economy, and business and working people are still paying the price on higher interest rates.

“With our five-point plan, Labour will work in partnership with businesses and local communities to get our high streets thriving again.”

Conservative party chairman Greg Hands said: “Labour have abandoned their pledge to abolish business rates. The only position they remain committed to is more unfunded, uncosted spending pledges.

“We have a £13 billion package in place now to support firms with the cost of business rates as we push on with our mission to halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce debt to help businesses right across the UK.”

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