The BRC has criticised the government’s response to the Treasury Select Committee business rates inquiry, saying the recommendations appear to have “fallen on deaf ears”.

HM Treasury published its response to October’s business rates inquiry report this afternoon, which made a number of recommendations to fix what it described as a “broken” and “unfair system” that places greater costs on high street shops than online businesses.

The government has committed to implementing just one recommendation around making the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government available to work with local governments on discretionary reliefs.

Other recommendations, including reviewing all business rates reliefs, reforming the Valuation Office Agency and even bringing business rates in line with inflation, were rejected.

However, as part of its response, the government promised to undertake what it called a “fundamental review of business rates” – the details of which will be “announced in due course”.

The BRC said the government had missed an opportunity to ease the burden on the retail sector with “short-term fixes”, such as scrapping downwards phasing of transitional relief.

BRC property policy adviser Dominic Curran said: “The government’s response to the Treasury Select Committee whitewashes the many issues which were raised in its report.

“The select committee outlined a number of recommendations aimed at fixing everything from the broken appeals system to the negative impact on investment, yet it appears to have fallen on deaf ears.”

A senior policy source went further and said the government “aren’t even engaging with the substance of the report”.

“If this is the tone they are adopting with regards to the recommendations, I don’t have high hopes for its so-called fundamental review,” the source said.