General election 2017: Business manifesto pledges at a glance

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By Hannah Downie, CA Today

1 June 2017

With a week to go until the General Election everything is up for grabs, as the latest election poll predicts a hung Parliament.

With the political parties’ plans for the economy sure to take centre stage in the countdown to 8 June, here is a summary of the tax and corporate proposals which will impact business.

The Conservative manifesto, Forward Together, Our Plan for a Stronger Britain and a Prosperous Future promises to reduce taxes on business.

Here’s how this plays out:

  • Keep the commitment to reduce corporate tax to 17% by 2020
  • Legislate for tougher regulation of tax advisory firms in relation to tax avoidance and evasion
  • Take a more proactive approach to transparency and misuse of trusts
  • Improve HMRC’s capabilities to stamp down on smuggling
  • Take further measures to reduce online VAT fraud
  • Consult on how to extend the safeguard tariff cap to micro-businesses in the business energy market
  • Make executive pay packages subject to approval by shareholders
  • Continue to support small businesses through business rate relief and low taxation.

For the Many Not the Few is Labour’s campaign promise.

A fair taxation system is part of that pledge:

  • Increase corporation tax to 26% in 2020 but reintroduce lower small profits rate for small business
  • Exclude small businesses from plans to introduce quarterly reporting and take action on late payments
  • Tackle tax avoidance and close loopholes
  • Introduce an excessive pay levy on companies with staff on very high pay
  • Extend stamp duty reserve tax to cover a wider range of assets
  • Introduce a package of reforms to business rates – including switching from RPI to CPI indexation.

The Liberal Democrats are proposing to Change Britain’s Future

This is how they intend to do it:

  • Reform capital gains tax and dividend tax relief and entrepreneurs’ relief
  • Reverse a number of Conservative tax cuts, including corporation tax from 20% to 17%, capital gains cuts, capital gains extended relief
  • Introduce a General Anti-Avoidance Rule
  • Consider the implementation of land value taxation
  • Create a new ‘start-up allowance’
  • Review business rates to reduce burdens on small firms
  • Establish a coherent tax and regulatory framework for landfill, incineration and waste collection
  • Lead international action to ensure global companies pay fair taxes in the developing countries in which they operate.

The SNP’s manifesto, Stronger for Scotland, advocates:

  • Not supporting further reductions to corporation tax  
  • Backing improvements to tax collection and tougher action on tax avoidance
  • Supporting the reversal of reductions to the bank levy and introduction of a tax on bankers’ bonuses
  • Supporting calls for the extension of the annual investment allowance, from £200,000 per year to £1 million per year
  • Continuing to lift premises out of business rates although most of the taxes and regulations that impact small businesses are the responsibility of Westminster
  • Pressing the UK government to phase the introduction of the Quarterly Digital Tax Reporting over a five-year transition period, and consider exemptions for those who are not incorporated or VAT-registered.


  • Political landscape

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