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BRC calls for support of retail businesses

08 March 2011 #Employment

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called for the Chancellor to assist retail business.
The retail sector is struggling due to a number of factors, including rising inflation leading to lower disposable income and the VAT increase which has not always been able to be passed onto consumers. The national minimum wage increase has also negatively impacted upon retail business which often employs minimum wage staff. Rises in Business Rates and National Insurance increases due this April as well as the Carbon Reduction Commitment tax from April 2012 will also have a negative impact on profits.

BRC`s Director General, Stephen Robertson argued that retailing would play a key part in growth this year. He said "We`re not asking for handouts but we do need an environment that eases costs, supports job creation and boosts consumer confidence...While it may be true that ‘the broadest shoulders should bear the biggest burden`, the retail sector, which operates on slim margins, is already seeing its load increase sharply. New impositions can only hinder retail`s ability to invest."

According to its website the BRC`s plan for a recovery in the retail sector requests that the Chancellor takes the following steps (amongst others):

  • Provide for 18 months notice of all future National Minimum Wage increases
  • Base Business Rates on the Consumer Price Index or an annual-average of the Retail Price Index
  • Suspend the increase on fuel duty due in April 2011 and wave commercial vehicle road tax for a year to increase spending power
  • Not introduce any new employment legislation until growth is firmly established
  • Simplify employment law to help "micro businesses"
Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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