Bira ‘disappointed’ mini-budget does ‘not help indie retailers’

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has expressed its “disappointment” that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s mini-budget does not “directly help retail business owners”.

Sunak announced a raft of further measures to support the recovery of the economy following the coronavirus lockdown, in Parliament yesterday (8 July).

Features of the budget included a job retention bonus scheme; a £2bn emergency package to prevent youth unemployment; and a 50% off voucher scheme for participating outlets in the hospitality sector.

However, there were no measures to directly benefit independent retailers, according to Bira.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “We welcome the various initiatives to bring younger people into work and the support for the hospitality sector.

“It is disappointing that there is no VAT cut for retailers in general and no changes to national insurance to help employees retain jobs over the next few weeks.”

He added: “With footfall on the high streets still at low levels and consumer spending down, there needs to be thought given to how consumer demand is stimulated on the high street or many businesses will close and jobs lost before we reach the end of the furlough scheme.”

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