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John Lewis boss argues against sales tax

John Lewis managing director Andy Street has said a transaction tax is not the solution to the burden caused by business rates.

Street said the business rates system has to go further than the devolution process, but a transaction tax was “not the right answer” as shoppers increasingly used a mix of online and bricks-and-mortar stores.

Street told The Telegraph: “Business rates are currently a tax on property, and property is the way retailers have made money historically, and what we are looking for is a reflection of the future”.

He added that plans to overhaul the business rates system have to “reflect how businesses work now”.

In November, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that local councils will be given control of business rates in an overhaul of the system and said that the report following the year-long review into the tax will be unveiled no earlier than the March 2016 Budget.

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