“It is deeply disappointing that the Chancellor has failed to address the unfairness of our business rates system, and in doing so has missed an opportunity to support retailers at a time of economic uncertainty.

Under the current system retailers with stores, which provide millions of high-value jobs, will be hit with an additional £480million bill in April, while online-only businesses remain significantly under-taxed. The rates system is meant to reflect rental values, but with rental values falling it is unjustifiable for business rates to still be going up.

If the Government is serious about supporting businesses of all sizes, promoting growth and reducing costs for consumers, it must urgently address our outdated and unfair business rates system.”

ALEX BALDOCK, CEO, CURRYS PLC