With the government having appointed Mary ‘Queen of Shops’ Portas to carry out a review on the state of the UK high street, the Labour Party has announced its own campaign plan to ‘Save the High Street.’ The four point plan calls for the governmentto take ‘urgent action to help retailers, protect jobs and give people a real say over their local high street".
The proposals include enacting a temporary cut in VAT, introducing a retail diversity planning clause to give local people a say on any retail plans for their area and suggests that the government creates a ‘competition test’ in the planning system to help ensure a level playing field between small and large shops.
Jack Dromey MP, Labour's shadow Local Government minister, said: “We need to put the heart back into Britain’s high streets. Labour wants to give communities a real say over the future of their high street and the power to make the changes they want.
“One of the things I hear from my constituents is how the character of the local high street has changed. The high street is not what it once was, they say. And I know many other MPs hear the same – we want to put that right."
Chuka Umunna MP, Labour's shadow Small Business and Enterprise minister, said: "A temporary cut in VAT would help consumers and businesses now and would help us get the deficit down."