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):