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BRC Comments On Budget 2020

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Responding to the Budget announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP, Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

“All of us benefit from a diversity of retailers, both big and small, in our local communities. This budget does little for larger retailers – offering a string of cost increases with no respite in the short term. However, on the upcoming review, the Chancellor has clearly listened to the retail industry and we welcome his recognition that the overall burden of business rates must fall."

On Business Rates Review:
“The Chancellor has shown he is capable of making bold decisions, this will be critical to the upcoming review of the broken business rate system. We welcome the stated objectives of reducing the rates burden on business, something we have been calling for, and the inclusion of changes to transitional relief as an option to provide short-term relief from April 2021. It is vital that the burden is reduced for all retailers – large and small – if it is to promote further investment in productivity growth and higher skilled, better paid jobs. We hope this open-minded approach carries through to implementing positive changes once the review has concluded later this year.”

On Business Rates:
“Despite announcing his support for British business, the Chancellor has failed to provide any relief for larger retailers, who employ the majority of the industry’s 3 million workers and currently foot most of the industry’s £7.5bn business rates bill. In April, these retailers will face yet another rise in business rates across England, piling on even more pressure on shops at a time when they are squeezed by lower demand and increasing costs arising from coronavirus.” 

On Plastics Tax:
“The industry is committed to reducing the levels of plastic, however the scale of the challenge is huge. Sadly, the plastics tax would effectively be a tax on many goods including food as the use of plastic packaging is currently unavoidable in some circumstances due to food safety legislation and the lack of alternatives. Instead, the Government should push for more responsible packaging through the Extended Producer Responsibility scheme, whereby the money raised would be invested in our limited recycling infrastructure.” 

On Red Diesel:
“Climate change remains a key issue for the retail industry. However, non-diesel engines are not always more fuel efficient, meaning the proposed tax hike on diesel may well increase costs to retailers, without any clear benefit for the environment. We estimate that major supermarkets alone would have to pay at least an extra £25m in tax each year.”

Source : BRC

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12 March 2020

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