Mon. Jan 25th, 2021

Pound rises on Brexit deal optimism – business live

12.56pm GMT

Speaking at the CBI’s annual conference earlier, Boris Johnson joked that business leaders might storm the stage in protest – but no one batted an eyelid when he announced that the planned corporation tax cut, from 19% to 17%, had been postponed.

Boris Johnson just abandoned a huge corporation tax cut for businesses on stage at the CBI conference and no one protested. Is he lucky? Was no one listening? Extraordinary. #CBI2019 #GE2019

12.48pm GMT

Here is some reaction to Boris Johnson’s pledge to “reduce the overall burden” of business rates if the Conservative party wins the election, made at the CBI conference.

Tom Leman, head of retail and consumer at the law firm Pinsent Masons, welcomed this but stressed that greater economic certainty is also needed to revive consumer spending.

Business rates are one part of the puzzle when it comes to the challenges faced by the retail sector. It is encouraging that high street retailers could see a reduction in their overheads and that looking for solutions to the challenges they are facing is high up on the political agenda.

However, the issues faced by our high street goes beyond business rates alone, there has been a change in the way consumers spend and the expectations they have of the service that retailers will provide. If we want to encourage consumer spending then we need to create greater economic certainty overall.

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