Leaders call for review of ‘unsustainable’ business rates

John Allan has been appointed chairman of Tesco

The president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is calling for an independent review of the “uneconomical, unsustainable and unintelligible” business rates system.

John Allan, who is also chair of Tesco, will tell a CBI conference today the “broken system” has contributed to many failing high street retailers including Debenhams, The Guardian reported.

“The business rates system has – over time – become uneconomical, unsustainable, and frankly, unintelligible,” Allan will tell the conference.

“Debenhams, once a stronghold of the British high street, fell into administration. But I’ve yet to read an explanation that doesn’t cite business rates as at least part of the cause.”

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