The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) new director-general Helen Dickinson has urged retailers to keep fighting for fairer business rates, despite the Chancellor shunning the issue in his Autumn Statement last week.

In her first interview since taking up the post this week, Dickinson told Retail Week that driving the issue of fairer business rates will stay at the top of the BRC’s agenda.

Retail Week and the BRC have been lobbying the Government to scrap a 2.6% rise in business rates, scheduled for April, through the Fair Rates for Retail campaign. The planned increase would add an additional £175m to retailers’ rates bill.

The campaign calls for a freeze on business rates and also urges the Government to switch the way rates are calculated from the Retail Prices Index to the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation.

Dickinson, who joined from KPMG where she was head of retail, said the “campaign will continue” in the run-up to the Budget announcement on March 20.

“I’ll be pushing the Government to honour its commitment to review the way increases are arrived at and give us a system that’s fairer and more affordable,” she said.