ACS Budget Reaction

Further to the Chancellor’s Budget speech here are further comments from ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) on measures included in the Budget Documents:


  • The Home Office will receive £31 million in funding for a dedicated group of enforcement officers
  • HMRC will consult further on stronger sanctions for tackling the illicit tobacco market
  • The duty rate on Hand Rolled Tobacco will increase to 5%, which is 3% higher than the existing tobacco duty escalator
  • Following a consultation in 2014, the Government will introduce a Minimum Excise Tax to increase duty income from lower cost tobacco products

ACS Chief Executive, James Lowman said: “We welcome the additional £31m dedicated to enforcing against the illegal trade in non-duty paid tobacco.  The Home Office needs these resources to beat the criminal gangs who run the market in illicit tobacco, targeting children and the poorest communities.  We will respond to the government’s consultation on sanctions for dealing in illicit tobacco, and we want to see the most effective range of penalties in place and being used by HMRC.

Given the importance of winning the battle against the illicit trade, the additional 3% duty for hand rolling tobacco is a step in the wrong direction.  Hand rolling tobacco is particularly common in the illicit trade, and further growing the incentive for criminals to trade in this category is counter-productive.”

Business Rates

  • The Government will extend small business rate relief so premises under £12,000 rv will receive 100% relief. Businesses with an £12,001 rv to £15,000 rv will receive tapered relief
  • Businesses with a rateable value up to £51,000 rv will use the small business rates multiplier
  • The Government will continue to fund 50% of discretionary rate relief but it will be reviewed as part of the Summer consultation on localisation of business rates
  • In 2020 the annual increases in Business Rate relief will be based on CPI Inflation
  • The Government will consult on further measures for a Small Business Rates Allowance in 2022, allowing store to spread rate relief across their property portfolio

ACS Chief Executive, James Lowman said: “The Chancellor has rightly increased the thresholds for small business rate relief and the small business multiplier.  We are continuing to talk to the Treasury about removing the smallest businesses from the process of being rated, which would bring huge savings to the VOA and rid the system of the endless appeals that currently tie up retailers, advisors, and the VOA for years after each valuation.

We are interested to discuss with the Treasury their plans for replacing small business rate relief with an allowance, that could on the face of it help retailers operating in a number of different council areas.

The move to raise business rates by CPI instead of RPI is welcome, and will bring significant savings to many convenience stores.  Sadly, we will have to wait four years for this to be introduced, which seems like an unnecessary delay.”

This entry was posted by Temp Access on Wed, 16/03/2016 - 15:29