MPs call for business rate reform
MPs who are members of the housing, communities and local government select committee have called on the government to reform business rates.
Business rate reform could give local shops in Newcastle-under-Lyme and The Potteries a lifeline enabling them to survive.
The MPs say that unfair business rates make it impossible for high street stores to compete with online retailers.
They have produced a report that calls for reforms which will revive dying town centres and bring them back to life. The report states that unless the government steps in to help, high street stores face a bleak future and shopping centres will start to look like ghost towns.
The committee wants the government to give small traders a chance to survive by taxing online sales and giving local authorities more money to spend on town-centre regeneration.