ACS Blog

What Should Retailers Expect from the Chancellor on Business Rates?

There’s plenty of discussion in the media about business rates policy, with most retail and wider business groups agreeing there needs to be a change to the way rates are calculated and collected (see businesses organisations agreed position here). But what specifics should we expect, or hope for, when the Chancellor stands up on Wednesday?

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Sunday Trading: How You Made a Difference

Well, that went well.  Not many organisations can put defeating the government on their CV, but after yesterday’s Commons vote against devolving Sunday trading laws, ACS, Usdaw and the rest of the Keep Sunday Special campaign can claim this rare distinction.  There will be plenty of time to reflect on the details of the campaign, and plenty of people to thank for their contribution, but I wanted to write about the role that individual retailers can play in making real change in politics.

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Government Sunday Trading Analysis... based on Sweden in 1972

Today’s publication of the government’s response to their public consultation is a chance to see their analysis all the evidence that has been put forward by groups like us, and also those who favour longer Sunday opening hours.  There’s a team in the Department for Business running this consultation, which launched over six months ago, analysing responses and reviewing the evidence.

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Autumn statement: Tobacco licensing is costly, bureaucratic and unnecessary

Business rates have dominated the retail industry’s reaction to the Autumn Statement this week, and you can see what we have said here.  I wanted to use this blog to talk about another issue, buried deep in the papers accompanying the Chancellor’s speech: tobacco licensing.  The Autumn Statement includes a commitment to consult on whether to introduce a licensing system for vendors of tobacco, which could include local shops.  The government say (and I believe them) that they approach th

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Chief Executive's Blog: Business Rates Revolution, or Changes at the Margins?

We heard about George Osborne’s promise to devolve business rates to local authorities while waiting to start our fringe meeting at the Conservative party conference, just yards from where the Chancellor was speaking. This looked like another Osborne bombshell, hot on the heels of his planned devolution of Sunday trading and announcement of a national living wage of over £9 by 2020.

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Business Needs to Speak Up on Living Wage

I’ve been pleased to see this week more companies and sector organisations – in farming and the care industry – raising concerns about the chancellor’s decision to introduce a national living wage at £7.20 in April 2016, rising to at least £9 by 2020.

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Tax Credits, Investment and the Chancellor's Living Wage

If you haven’t noticed, this has been a hell of a week.  The chancellor has announced some radical changes in policy, and two of these – devolving Sunday trading decisions and introducing a national living wage – have huge implications for our sector.  Both of these were unexpected and not included in the Conservatives’ manifesto.

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Sunday Trading

So you would expect me to be writing about Sunday trading this week.  The Chancellor's decision to devolve decisions on Sunday trading hours to mayors or councils is a hammer blow to our sector, and puts in jeopardy a piece of legislation that helps small shops and that has become totemic for our members.

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For Local Shop Policy Solutions, Go West

This week we took a trip over the Severn Bridge to the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff for a meeting of the Cross Party Group on Small Shops.  As with All Party Groups in Westminster, these groups can provide a useful focal point for discussing issues relating to particularly industries or issues, and before I forget, here is more information on the inquiry being led by the Small Shops Group in Westminster into Britain’s Everyday Entrepreneurs, which we helped launch in June.

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