The British Retail Consortium has warned the Treasury not to use the retail industry like a "piggy bank" in next week's Budget.
BRC director general Bill Moyes said: "The industry cannot go on absorbing increases in taxation and cost. The Chancellor needs to act to stimulate consumer demand, not suffocate the success of the only reliable engine of growth."
In its February petition to the Treasury, the BRC said VAT should not be increased, and was worried about stamp duty reform which could push sector costs up £1.4bn over the next three years.
It wants retailers to be given tax breaks for crime prevention and climate change levy exemption. Seed capital should be made available through regional development agencies, and retailers should get a 4% industrial building allowance to bring them in line with manufacturers.

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