The government has been urged to appoint a minister with specific responsibility for the retail sector. Sir David Sieff, chairman of the British Retail Consortium, said the industry was fed up with the lack of joined-up thinking in government. "This is a matter of serious concern for retailers large and small," said Sir David. "The government wants us to deliver high value and low inflation but that means costs have to be tightly controlled. "And yet almost every day government comes up with a new idea that increases our cost base. "Every new policy or change of policy is still viewed in complete isolation." Sir David told the BRC's annual dinner: "The retail industry urgently needs a champion in government to ensure there's an understanding of the pressures our industry faces. The time has more than come for the government to appoint a minister of retail." He warned that without somebody to co-ordinate government activity its "constant stream of piecemeal initiatives" would continue ­ and he warned that could ultimately affect job creation and investment opportunities in the sector. "It makes economic and political sense for the government to practise joined up thinking." Sir David's comments echoed those made by Tesco boss Terry Leahy earlier in the day at the BRC conference. Leahy said: "Almost every day someone, somewhere is calling for new regulations on how we operate," he said. "Many still think that regulating more is, in some way, in the public interest. The truth is that clumsy, ill-thought through regulation can actually harm it." As well as attacking unnecessary red tape, Leahy rounded on excessive taxes on retail which he claimed were equivalent to a 51% rate. "It is an irony that one of the sectors that is most heavily taxed is also by far the biggest source of new employment in the UK." {{NEWS }}