Current AffairsE-CommerceRetailers

Retail associations respond to ‘encouraging’ Autumn Budget

A number of retail associations have responded positively to the Chancellor’s Budget which was revealed yesterday (22 November).

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and NFU Mutual reacted to the announcement that the move from RPI to CPI indexation will be brought forward by two years to 2018, allowing for a revaluation of business rates.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC, said: “This is a hugely welcome and positive move. From being caught in a web of competing pressures from all parts of the economy, limiting the scope for action, it’s clear that the Chancellor has listened to the retail industry and the growing chorus from across business and commercial life who have spoken up in favour of action to mitigate rising rates bills.”

The BRC also “welcomed the government’s approach” to the National Living Wage.

Mark Easy, business sector specialist at NFU Mutual, said that the crackdown on online VAT evasion would create a “more level playing field” for businesses and described the decision to keep the threshold for VAT registration at £85,000 as creating a “sigh of relief” of retailers.

Easy added: “It was encouraging to see some measures made by the Chancellor to keep the vibrant social spaces of the community alive – our high streets and pubs.

“It is promising that concerns about the unfairness of business rates are being listened to, although further reform to the business rates system is needed to provide retailers with the security they need.”

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