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Retail bosses plea over rising rate threat

Retail chiefs are pleading with George Osborne to reconsider a planned 5.6 per cent rise in business rates – well above inflation.

High Street giants represented include HMV, Boots, JD Sports and B&Q owner Kingfisher, whose chief executive Ian Cheshire was among the first to join Financial Mail’s 'Reduce Our Rates' campaign.

They are asking the Chancellor to acknowledge the ‘groundswell of support’ against the increase, proposed by Local Government Minister Eric Pickles, who has the authority to limit the rise. Osborne has until the Budget on March 21 to reconsider.

The appeal, organised by the British Council of Shopping Centres, says: ‘An increase of 5.6 per cent presents a clear risk of further insolvencies, job losses and even more empty shops as retailers look to ensure their long-term survival.’

Source: Neil Craven & Vicki Owen - This is

25 February 2012
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