Chancellor George Osborne has said retailers need help to tackle their business rate bills ahead of a discussion document on rates due to be published this year.

In a speech today setting out Government’s long-term economic plan, Osborne said there are “underlying problems we have to fix in our economy” and said he will study the rates system.

A Government discussion document on business rates reform is due to be published in the spring.

The BRC is working with tax experts EY and stakeholders from across the business community to help provide information to Government.

Last month, Osborne revealed Government is to cap business rates at 2% from April, giving cheers to retailers braced for a forecast 3.2% business rates increase. Retailers will now face a business rates increase of £151m, rather than the £242m increase expected.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “Now is the time to think boldly about reform that will support businesses that invest in the UK and employ millions of people. We welcome the support the Chancellor has highlighted today to help high street retailers with business rates.

“However, to sustain growth and support the recovery, one of the most important contributions the Chancellor could make would be to reform the business rates system. That’s why we are looking forward to the Chancellor’s important discussion document on reform that will be published this Spring.”

Osborne’s long-term economic plan centres upon reducing the national deficit, cutting income taxes and freezing fuel duty, creating more jobs, capping welfare, reducing immigration and improving young people’s skills.