Following today's interim report from the Lyons Inquiry, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

"Lyons may talk about national prosperity but his interim report underestimates the true implications of re-localising business rates. Cash-strapped Local Authorities would come to view businesses as cash cows that can be tapped for more money without political backlash. Businesses are strongly opposed to taxation without representation."

"Under re-localisation business rates will only go up. Local Authorities risk creating enterprise wastelands, unravelling recent achievements made by councils working with businesses. Businesses already face mounting taxation and other costs; higher business rates would force many to either close or move to lower rate areas. This would lead to higher unemployment and crime, causing significant damage to the quality of life in those localities."

"Businesses are vital to 'place shaping' and local prosperity. Local Authorities do feel the benefits of business growth and they must therefore always be focussed on local economic development. The BCC and the local Chambers of Commerce will work with Local Authorities to deliver continued economic growth and sustainability, particularly through mechanisms like Business Improvement Districts which ensure accountability and representation.