Green MEP, Caroline Lucas, launches plans to scrap VAT for small businesses

13 May 2009

The South East's Euro-MP Caroline Lucas has told small businesses only the Greens have the policies to help them through the current recession.

Unveiling the party's package of measures to help small business ahead of next month's European and County Council elections, Dr Lucas pledged to scrap VAT and merge National Insurance and Income Tax to reduce bureaucracy.

She said small businesses faced increasing pressure from anti-competitive practises, late payments and complex regulation.

"Yet it is not small businesses that cause the most pollution, waste the most resources and exploit their workers.

"They serve largely local markets and strengthen local economies and communities. They provide many jobs, are centres of creativity and innovation, and lead in the emerging green economy, providing organic food and services like insulation or community transport.

"Many are cooperatives or community enterprises. Small business goes with the grain of the green ethos - building a local and increasingly self-reliant economy means building up small business.

"The Green Party would introduce a framework of policy to give preferential support to local and smaller businesses and counteract the excessive power of global corporations. Most significantly we would reform the tax system by replacing the Unified Business Rate with a land tax paid to local rather than central government, and by banding corporation tax so that small businesses pay lower rates than larger businesses."

Dr Lucas unveiled a number of specific policies to help small businesses flourish under the current recession.

She said the Greens would:

* Reduce bureaucracy by scrapping VAT

* Simplify PAYE by merging National Insurance with Income Tax

* Support local community banks tasked with supporting small local enterprises

* Introduce legislation to outlaw late payment


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