Budget 2016: Chancellor Urged to Reintroduce Rate Relief for Local Shops

ACS has called on the Chancellor to reintroduce the Retail Rate Relief scheme for small businesses as part of a package of measures to help local shops and high streets.

In its submission to the Chancellor’s Budget on March 16th, ACS has called for the following:

  • Reintroduce the Retail Rate Relief scheme to provide a £2,000 business rates discount for small high street
  • Ring-fence funding to HM Revenue and Customs to tackle the illicit alcohol and tobacco market at a local level, both through greater collaboration with local authorities and more effective enforcement of existing sanctions against the black market
  • Scrap proposals to require businesses to report on their business taxes quarterly, which would cause significant administrative disruption and result in cost increases for small businesses

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Over the last year, Government has announced measures that will increase costs for local shops such as the National Living Wage, while quietly neglecting to renew incentives like the Retail Rate Relief scheme.  We need this important measure to be re-introduced to offset some of the costs businesses are now facing.

“We need a step change in the fight against the illicit trade in alcohol and tobacco, starting with targeted, ring-fenced funding for HMRC and local authorities to remove alcohol licences from retailers selling duty fraud product. Many responsible retailers are finding it impossible to compete in their area with criminals selling illicit products at cheap prices.

“2016 is already set to be a year of difficult trading conditions for local shops dealing with higher wage costs and uncertainty over their business rates bills. The government cannot take these businesses, and the essential services they provide in communities, for granted.”

This entry was posted by Chris on Wed, 16/03/2016 - 06:00