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Business unites to call for rate reform

Retailers such as Debenhams, Argos and B&Q are among the 107 organisations that have signed an open letter calling for the main political parties to commit to a fundamental review of the business rates system before the General Election.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Business unites to call for rate reform

Retailers such as Debenhams, Argos and B&Q are among the 107 organisations that have signed an open letter calling for the main political parties to commit to a fundamental review of the business rates system before the General Election.

Co-ordinated by the British Retail Consortium, the letter appeared yesterday as a full page advert in The Daily Telegraph.

The coalition of signatories, who ranged from FTSE 100 companies to SMEs, said that business rates were "no longer fit for the purpose of the 21st century" and should be revamped to free up investment to create new skilled and entry level jobs on the high street, bring new and expanded businesses into local communities and support other industrial investment.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "The open letter proposes that the political parties should make a commitment to look at deeper reform of business rates if they form the next government after the election. The sheer breadth of industries represented shows the strength of our collective belief that the existing system is no longer fit for purpose and that we will support the work of a future government to carry out reforms so that we can all play our part in growing the UK economy."

 

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