Business leaders have written a letter to the new Chancellor ahead of his first budget this month calling for a number of reforms to business rates.

Representatives from organisations such as the British Retail Consortium, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Association of Convenience Stores have written to the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak, urging him to reform business rates at the next budget.

The letter sets out four “simple principles that would ensure that business rates are fairer, more accurate and fit for purpose in the future”.

These include removing the requirement for business rates to be fiscally neutral, simplifying the system to reduce the burden on the Valuation Office Agency, reviewing the Check, Challenge and Appeal system, and removing provisions which “penalise” businesses for modernising stores and premises.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said the four principles set out in the letter would “give a much-needed boost to British businesses”.

BRC boss Helen Dickinson agreed, and said the current system “holds back investment” and contributes to job losses in the retail sector.

“Britain’s broken Business Rates system is one of many upfront costs that are holding back the growth potential of companies across the UK.

“It’s time for the government to deliver on its manifesto pledge to review and reduce business rates so firms can invest in their people and prospects instead.”

HM Treasury recently dealt advocates of short-term business rates reforms a blow, when it responded to the Treasury Select Committee business rates inquiry report in late February.

The government response pushed back against the majority of the report’s findings, in particular taking umbrage with the committee’s description of the current business rates system as “broken”.

Despite this, the government have promised to undertake what it called a “fundamental review of business rates”, the details of which would be announced “in due course”.

Policy sources have told Retail Week that Sunak will likely unveil more details about the review at the next budget, which he is due to deliver on March 11.