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Retailers urge MPs to help high streets

Published: 2 January 2013
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is asking MPs to prioritise listening to local businesses to help halt high street decline, in the wake of empty shops reaching a new high of 11.3% in town centres.
Retailers urge MPs to help high streets
A poll of MPs showed that two thirds believe high streets in their constituencies have deteriorated noticeably over the last five years. The BRC says taking action against the rising cost of doing business in the UK is "the number one thing that MPs should do to help high streets." It is calling on them to petition the Government to freeze business rates, which are set to rise by 2.6% in 2013.

Rates have already risen by over 10% in the last two years, adding over half a billion pounds to retailers' bills during tough trading conditions, according to the group. It is warning that another rise would "do further damage to high streets and deter investment and job creation."

New BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "MPs understand that high streets are focal points for communities and essential to local economies. But many high streets are facing a real endurance test in these challenging times, and rising operating costs are making matters worse.

"The Autumn Statement didn't include a pledge to freeze business rates next year, but there's still time for the government to do the right thing. Another steep rise would pose a serious threat to vulnerable town centres and mean fewer jobs, especially for young people.

"Two-thirds of MPs have already told us that they support a rates freeze next year - I urge them to keep pushing for change if they want to breathe life back into our town centres and preserve and protect local businesses."

Comments

Published prior to March 2014
By EDDIE WISEMAN
THE TIME HAS COME TO HAVE A SALES TAX ON INTERNET SALES THIS WOULD HELP THE HIGH STREET AND TAKE IN MUCH NEEDED MONEY FOR THE GOVERNMENT

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