Newspaper chief welcomes Chancellor’s Budget hint

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne stands with his Treasury team
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne stands with his Treasury team
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The chief executive of the parent company of the Lancashire Evening Post has welcomed plans by the Government to look at giving a tax break to local newspapers.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the move in the Commons yesterday as he unveiled his last Budget before the general election.

The Budget document said: “Local newspapers are an important source of information for local communities and a vital part of a healthy democracy. To support them as they adapt to new technology and changing circumstances, the government will consult on whether to introduce a business rates relief for local newspapers in England.”

Ashley Highfield, chief executive of Johnston Press, said: “We are delighted the Chancellor has recognised the crucial role local newspapers play in communities across the country.

“The local press is a continuing success story and the vital work we have done on innovation means it is as relevant as ever. Half the population get their news from their local paper.

“The consultation on business rates relief is an important recognition of one of the challenges facing the industry. We hope today’s announcement will help our industry continue to thrive.”