The NFRN welcomes and supports the set of recommendations published by the Communities and Local Government Committee in the House of Commons today (February 21).

Recognising the depth of the crisis in the high street across the UK, the report says that unless urgent action is taken, MPs “fear that further deterioration, loss of visitors and dereliction may lead to some high streets and town centres disappearing altogether.”

The NFRN is pleased to see that the reforms it has been urging the government to introduce are now also in the Committee’s report, including:

  • Simplifying and lowering business taxation. These changes should offer sustainable relief to business owners.
  • Levelling the playing field between physical and online retailers, and considering ‘green taxes’ on online deliveries and packaging, as well as higher VAT and a general sales tax.
  • Investing the revenue raised in regenerating the high street.
  • Some free parking is bound to have a positive effect on high street footfall.

Commenting, National President Mike Mitchelson said: “It’s a relief to see that MPs are taking the retail crisis seriously. The revival of town centres will require a coordinated strategy, bringing together local councils, communities and businesses, backed by government funding. The NFRN is willing to take part in the discussions to introduce the reforms as soon as possible – now is the time to act.”

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