Could The Chancellor’s Mini Budget Have Done More To Help Retailers?

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a further raft of measures to support the recovery of the economy yesterday, (July 8), but the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) expressed its disappointment that the mini-Budget will not directly help retailers.

“We welcome the various initiatives to bring younger people into work, and the support for the hospitality sector,” stated Bira’s ceo Andrew Goodacre. “However, it’s disappointing that there is no VAT cut for retailers in general, and no changes to national insurance.”

He continued: “There needs to be thought given to how consumer demand is stimulated on the high street or many businesses will close with jobs lost.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, (BRC),
concurred: “The Chancellor’s proposals of a VAT cut will be important in reviving the hospitality and tourism sectors and the 1.8 million people who work there. However, it was disappointing that the Chancellor did not extend this measure to the retail industry and the three million people it employs. It was a missed opportunity and we hope that the Government will reconsider this ahead of the Autumn Budget.”

Added Thomas Brereton, Retail Analyst at GlobalData: “Retailers will undoubtedly be feeling left out from the Chancellor’s statement. While some comparable sectors received lifelines, no such initiative has been announced for retail directly. However, the ‘Eat out to help out’ hospitality scheme will assist high street and shopping centre locations by generating additional footfall, and the temporary reduction in stamp duty will help furniture and homewares retailers a little. However, the Chancellor must urgently reconsider providing greater relief for retailers through some combination of lower business rates, VAT rate reductions, discount stimulus packages and prolonged assistance with furloughed staff.”

 

Top: Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s mini budget was a disappointment for the retail trade.

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