The Liberal Democrats are calling to scrap business rates and replace them with a tax on land values.
The levy, which would be paid by owners rather than tenants, would tax only the land value of commercial sites and remove buildings and machinery from calculations. Retailers in struggling areas would also receive a boost, the party said.
Party leader Vince Cable said: “Business rates were a badly designed policy to begin with and have become an unacceptable drag on our economy. They are a tax on productive investment at a time of chronically weak productivity growth, and a burden on high streets struggling to adapt to the rise of online retail.
“Many of the areas around the country that voted for Brexit feel they have been left behind. In place of policies the Brexiters offer only rhetoric. Great swathes of the country demand better, and this policy offers change to the manufacturing industry and the small towns passed over by economic growth.”