The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is to write to the chancellor Alistair Darling ahead of the Pre-Budget Report today.

Its wish list includes asking the chancellor to reduce retailers’ price pressures including pushing down commercial property costs.

It has asked for the chancellor to help in its fight to push down commercial property costs including the re-introduction of empty property relief, which was abolished in April and the urgent review of the tax treatment of unfair lease conditions where retail tenants have to pay large exit fees when surrendering leases early, but do not qualify for tax relief on these payments.

It also asking for an extension of local tax raising powers, such as Business Rate Supplements, until the full consequences of these revenue raising measures are properly understood.

Stephen Robertson, BRC director general, said: ‘Retailers are being hit by a double-whammy of a deepening economic slowdown and a range of higher property costs.

'The Government should alleviate the increase in retail property costs by bringing back empty property rate relief and allowing retailers tax relief on the large exit fees they pay when surrendering leases early.’

As part of the letter, the BRC is also asking for help in encouraging employment, cuts in basic household bills.

The BRC said it is the first organisation to publish its 2008 pre-budget submission.