Retail groups call for chancellor George Osborne to reform business rates to stimulate the UK economy

Helen Cahill
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Conservative Party Conference Held In Birmingham - Day 2
George Osborne said last week that he would cut corporation tax (Source: Getty)

Business organisations have written to Chancellor George Osborne calling on him to "stimulate growth" in the UK by reforming business rates.

The letter said the "overall burden of business rates is too high and at tipping point" and calls for Osborne to enact more changes to business taxes.

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"Britain has the highest non-domestic property taxes in Europe, which acts as a brake on investment for all businesses looking to invest in the UK," the retail bosses said.

The group called on Osborne to accelerate proposals to evaluate annual increases in business rates on the consumer price index instead of the retail price index, and to simplify the rating assessments for small businesses.

Signatories included the British Chambers of Commerce; the British Retail Consortium; the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers; the Association of Convenience Stores; and the Federation of Small Businesses.

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Reform would "show the Government's ambition to make the UK the best country in which to do business", they said.

The move comes after the Chancellor proposed to cut corporation tax to below 15 per cent in a bid to make Britain more competitive after the Brexit vote.

"We welcome action to stabilise economic uncertainty and have all positively welcomed the government's long-term reduction of corporation tax," the retail leaders said. "But to make Britain a 'super competitive economy' business tax reforms must go beyond cutting corporation tax."

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