ACS Welcomes Business Rates Concessions

Responding to today’s Budget James Lowman, ACS chief executive said : “Taken overall, this budget will have a net positive effect on local shops, which is good news for these important businesses and the communities they serve.”

ACS has welcomed the Chancellor’s action on more frequent business rates revaluations and moving annual indexation to CPI inflation, James Lowman said:

“We welcome the introduction of more frequent revaluations but only if this doesn’t place more burdens on retailers to assess and relay information on their properties to the Government. The introduction of more frequent revaluation must be delivered hand in hand with a simplification of the business rates system, where possible removing the smallest business from the burden of rates.

“The move from RPI to CPI for business rates indexation will reduce rates bills for local shops. However, the Government needs to ensure that existing reliefs are getting through to local shops that need it, currently  81 councils still haven’t set up schemes to distribute discretionary rate relief despite this being announced and funded in the March 2017 budget.”

Responding to the 4.4% increase in the National Living Wage to £7.83 and the 4.7% National Minimum Wage increase to £7.38, James Lowman said:

“The 4.4% increase in National Living Wage will mean retailers have to make tough choices in order to maintain staffing levels by delaying investment, reducing staff hours or reducing the number of people employed in their stores. We will continue to work with the Government to help them understand the impact the employment costs are on having on the convenience sector.”

Responding to the other key announcements in the Budget, James Lowman said:

Plastic Packaging Tax

“It is right that the Government explore all possible options to increase recycling rates including taxes that would deliver more sustainable packaging. We need to look at these proposals in detail to see whether they will meet their objectives, and to see how local shops will be impacted by them.” 

Electric Vehicles

“The £400m investment in electric vehicle charging is welcome.  Forecourt retailers are making decisions about installing charging points amid great uncertainty about the facilities drivers will want and the places they will want to charge their cars.  This funding needs to help businesses by underpinning the investments needed to establish a viable electric charging network.”

Tobacco Duty Escalator Continues

“Every time the Chancellor increases tobacco duties he drives more consumers to the illicit market and away from local shops. Last year we saw lost tobacco tax revenue to the exchequer increase by £100million, urgent action is need to provide HMRC and Trading standards officers with more funding and powers to tackle the illicit tobacco market.”

Alcohol Duty Freeze

“The Alcohol duty freeze will be welcomed by local shops across the country. We are also pleased the Chancellor has heeded our advice to delay future alcohol duty changes until 1st February each year so retailers are not burdened with changes prices during the busy Christmas period.”

The Association of Convenience Stores is the voice of over 33,500 local shops, supporting members through effective lobbying, comprehensive advice and innovative networking opportunities.


This entry was posted by Chloe on Wed, 22/11/2017 - 14:46