Budget 2015 Reaction: Association of Convenience Stores

The Association of Convenience Stores has responded to the Chancellor's 2015 Budget, welcoming key measures on alcohol duty and business rate relief.

ACS chief executive James Lowman responded on the following topics:


"The reductions in alcohol duty rates are a welcome measure, as alcohol is an important category in convenience stores. With lower duty rates alongside the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme and renewed focus from HMRC, we are at last seeing progress in tackling the damaging illegal alcohol trade."

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ACS Calls for High Street Support in Business Rates Review

ACS has responded to the Government’s launch of a fundamental review of business rates, calling for greater support for small businesses and high streets.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome this overdue review, and we are pleased that it will take a look at radical options for reforming the outdated business rates system. The review must deliver help for high streets, be simpler than the current system, and offer incentives for investment rather than penalising businesses which improve their premises.”

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Liberal Democrats Would Extend 5p Single-Use Bag Charge

Nick Clegg, head of the Liberal Democrat party, has pledged that his party would extend a planned 5p charge levied on plastic bags to include all single-use bags in order to help the environment.

The plan is part of a proposed Nature Bill for the next parliament and aims to take another 3.5bn plastic bags and 328m papers bags out of circulation.

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Party Leaders Announce Commitments at British Chambers of Commerce Conference

David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party, urged businesses to give staff a pay rise in his speech. He also stated that the Conservatives planned to increase the amount of business rates that local areas could keep from 50% to at least two thirds.

Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, also spoke at the conference, discussing the Lib Dem’s plans to prioritise small businesses for tax cuts.

Chuka Umunna, Shadow Business Secretary, discussed Labour’s plans to devolve extra funding from central to local Government.

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Labour Pledges to Double Paid Paternity Leave to Four Weeks

Ed Miliband announced plans to give new fathers a month of paid leave, nearly double the current rate. The plans would also bring paternity pay into line with the minimum wage, from £138.18 to at least £260 a week.  The policy would be expected to cost £150 million a year, funded through proposed changes to childcare. Paid paternity leave was introduced in 2013 and parents may be entitled to shared paternity leave and pay in April 2015.

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Top 5 Questions to ask your Prospective Parliamentary Candidates

During the election campaign, you are likely to have Prospective Parliamentary Candidates dropping into your business trying to canvass your vote.  Make sure you are prepared to challenge your Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPC) on the issue that matter to you.

Here are the top questions you should consider asking;

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Top Retailer Rajan Vaish invites Local MP Yvonne Fovargue to visit his Hindley Store

Rajan Vaish, has met local MP, Yvonne Fovargue, in his Nisa store in Wigan to discuss some of the key issues that have been affecting his business ahead of the general election in May.

Rajan’s Nisa store in Hindley is a fixture of local community life employing 10 people and providing retail and post office services to the local community.

Across Ms Fovargue’s Makerfield constituency there are 56 convenience stores employing over 420 people and ACS, the voice of local shops, is calling for four policies that would make a difference for local shops.

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