The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has responded to Rishi Sunak’s spending review, with chief executive Helen Dickinson penning a letter to the Chancellor.
She has implored the UK Government to rethink its position on the return of business rates liability to pre-pandemic levels, as is planned in April.
The BRC proposed that the government will give businesses no chance of survival post-pandemic if they implement these rates.
Dickinson wrote: “Government should adopt our proposal for business rates relief at 50% which reflects the fall in retail property values and brings market reality into the system, while generating much needed revenue for the Treasury.
“This, along with an extension to the moratorium on debt enforcement, to encourage constructive dialogue between landlords and tenants on rents, will support the resilience of the retail industry.
“This would allow the industry to invest in the future and play its part in the economic recovery of the UK.”
She continued: ““We were disappointed that the Chancellor did not choose to reverse the decision to end tax-free shopping for international visitors to the UK.
“The policy will deliver a relatively small saving for the Treasury at the expense of a far greater return to the UK economy, and will damage the UK’s position as a top destination for international shoppers.”
Elsewhere, Dickinson spoke in support of the government’s proposed raises to the minimum wage and living wage, as well as a “levelling up fund” to support local areas around the UK.