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BRC urges Chancellor to support retail industry in Budget

RBR Staff Writer Published 24 October 2017

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond to deliver a budget for shoppers.

The BRC has sent a submission, entitled Helping Shoppers Budget, to the Chancellor with a series of proposals targeted at the measures to support the retail industry, as the country is now facing economic slowdown and the uncertainty of Brexit.

The Chancellor has been urged deliver a budget for shoppers, which in turn can protect its members from the burden of Government costs.

Next April, business rates are expected to increase and BRC stated that the Chancellor must freeze business rates for the retail sector and it can help in avoiding £270m could be spend on investment, which would otherwise be paid in taxes, thus hurting local investment.

BRC also stated that the current squeeze on the spending faced by households can be controlled by not increasing income tax rates and by speeding up increase in personal allowances.

It has urged the government to ensure that businesses do not face double regulatory charges or new financial burdens arising from Brexit and to invest in infrastructure at ports and border control points to make ensure the UK exits from the EU in an orderly manner.

BRC stated that the government needs to work in partnership with the retail industry to improve the basic literacy skills of the workforce and to increase the amount of textile and clothing manufacture in the country.

BRC CEO Helen Dickinson said: “At a time of uncertainty for both the economy and the country, it’s important we set ourselves up for success.

“The cumulative burden of Government imposed costs has become acute. Indeed, September’s inflation figures mean retailers are faced with a £270 million leap in their business rate tax bills alone next Spring.

“With retailers’ margins being squeezed to their limit, this is money that could be better spent investing in keeping prices low for consumers, in local communities up and down the country and in developing a workforce which is fit for the future.

She said: “Without the Chancellor’s intervention, the consequences for town centres and jobs will be even more keenly felt in the most vulnerable communities. For consumers, the squeeze on household incomes will be compounded as the pound in their pocket buys them even less at the checkout.”

Image: BRC urges to UK Chancellor to prioritise shoppers and retail business. Photo: Courtesy of lobby Pong/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.