As the new business rates increase came into force yesterday, retailers will be hit with an additional £175m business rates bill this year.

Since April 1, retailers have to bear the brunt of a 2.6% increase to their business rates. It follows an additional £500m increase in business rates over the past two years.

Prior to the Budget announcement last month, Retail Week and the British Retail Consortium had been lobbying the Government to freeze business rates through the Fair Rates for Retail campaign. But Chancellor George Osborne ignored the calls and the increase has gone ahead.

The campaign is continuing to fight for a fairer calculation to the rates to switch it from being based on September’s RPI to the annual rate of CPI.