Eight in 10 MPs believe the current business rates system is “not fit for purpose and in need of fundamental reform”, according to new research by the British Retail Consortium.

The poll also finds that 93% of MPs agree that business rates reform is an important area “for the future success of the high street and town centre”.

The BRC is calling on party leaders to sign up to reform in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “It is no longer an option to say that fundamental reform is too difficult or complicated – that particular ship has sailed. The challenge for politicians is to show us all how they are going to embrace the task of reform and deliver, with us, a system that is fit for the 21st century.”

Nick de Bois, Conservative MP for Enfield North and member of the All Party Retail Group, said: “The present business rates system is archaic and flawed. Often business rates exceed rents and are not linked to business performance.

“The Government has eased rates for many small business but these measures are only temporary fixes. We need structural reform.”

Populus interviewed 113 Members of Parliament between 24 April and 20 May 2014.