Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Arundel & South Downs, Andrew Griffith, has welcomed the announcement that the next Conservative Government will raise the employment allowance and reduce the burden of business rates in a boost for thousands of small businesses in West Sussex. Petworth resident, Andrew, is also Boris Johnson’s Chief Business Adviser and played a key role in helping to shape the Conservatives ‘small business friendly’ policies whilst working until recently in No 10 Downing Street. The detail of today’s announcement is: Reducing the burden of business rates. Business rates are one of the top concerns of British businesses so a Conservative majority Government will launch a fundamental review at our first budget, consulting widely. We will reduce the overall burden of business rates as part of this review. Raising the Employment Allowance from £3,000 to £4,000. Employers pay Class 1 National Insurance Contributions on their employees’ earnings. The Employment Allowance is currently claimed by over 1 million employers to reduce their employer NICs bills by up to £3,000. The next Conservative Government will increase the Employment Allowance to £4,000, which will provide a tax cut of up to £1,000 for more than half a million businesses. This will amount to almost a half a billion-pound tax cut for small businesses. Andrew Griffith, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Arundel & South Downs, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the West Sussex economy. Our market towns such as Storrington, Steyning, Hurstpierpoint and Hassocks are chock full of exactly those businesses which will benefit from today’s announcement – helping to boost local employment.” The announcement has also been welcomed by business groups with the Federation of Small Businesses saying: “Cutting the jobs tax is a strong pro-small business move, as it will help half a million small firms raise wages and keep more people in work. “A pledge to finally cut the burden of business rates is welcome – action on business rates has long been a priority of FSB’s small business members. “Small businesses – and their staff – will be relieved to see the issues that matter to their livelihoods placed firmly on the agenda at this election. A typical constituency has 25,000 people working in a small business, around 7,000 of whom are self-employed. Political parties should be competing to show how they could run a Government that improves their livelihoods, deals with rising costs and ensures small businesses remain a strong part of our local communities.