Business rates should be halved and VAT increased to 22% in a bid to save the High Street, former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King has said.

This would help retailers battling with online rivals who do not face the same tax burden, he said.

He told the BBC’s Today programme it was unfair that only bricks-and-mortar retailers paid business rates.

“The services that those business rates pay for are used by online retailers,” Mr King said.

“They drive on the roads that are maintained by them, the brown cardboard boxes they deliver are collected by dustmen or taken to tips paid for by those business rates.”

No price change

He said it would not change prices for consumers buying from High Street shops.

“All taxes are paid by consumers,” he said.

“Retailers in our

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