By Daniel Hunter

The Forum of Private Business says most firms will be hugely disappointed after the Chancellor gave no concessions on business rates.

“Ask any small businesses what they wanted to see from this Budget and many will have said: ‘action on business rates’," Forum spokesman Robert Downes said.

"We said before the Budget government couldn’t keep clobbering businesses with hike after hike, and unfortunately we haven’t seen that sentiment acknowledged today by Mr Osborne.

“It was really a case of enough already years ago, and April’s increase which now goes ahead as planned will mean rates have spiralled by a mammoth 13% in just three years. There aren’t many businesses who’ve seen income increase by anything close to that figure with sluggish growth and recession to contend with in the same period.

“Business rates have risen so much in just a few years they are the number one enemy to many small firms, and we believe are a big part of the problem behind the problems with our high streets too. It’s disappointing to see no action here — it was the obvious way to relieve pressures and is a missed chance for quick and easy relief for business.”

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