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Stop killing the high street: big retailers and small businesses beg politicians for tax relief

Closing down
Britain's high streets face a future like this unless the Government stops hiking costs such as business rates, retailers have warned Credit: Dinendra Haria/Rex Features

Surging wages and bumper tax bills are killing the high street, threatening jobs and crushing investment, according to two of the country’s biggest business groups.

Fixing the “broken business rates system” is key to boosting investment and revitalising the economy, according to a letter to the Chancellor from more than 50 retailers, including national chains such as Greggs, Boots, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis.

“Retail accounts for 5pc of the economy but pays 10pc of all business taxes and 25pc of all business rates. The rate has risen by 50pc since business rates’ inception in the 1990s, and 20pc in the last decade alone,” said the letter, co-ordinated by the British Retail Consortium and backed...

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