Treasury minister David Gauke said it was right to update bills in line with rising property values, that only a quarter of firms would see their payments rise this year and that they would get help to adjust.
Chancellor Philip Hammond, who delivers his Budget next month, faces intensifying pressure to back down.
Conservative MPs have joined calls for change to help firms cope with the impact of revaluation, while there is also anger that the system forces small high street shops to pay more for their premises than online retail giants do for their vast warehouses.
Minister David Gauke defended a controversial shake up of business rates
Mary “Queen of Shops” Portas – the retail expert who has advised the government on rejuvenating high streets – today said it was “the single biggest blow to independent shops since the financial crisis” and…