Chancellor Urged to Take Meaningful Action on Rates Reform; Drop Unpopular Sunday Trading Proposals

ACS has called on the chancellor to take action on business rates, employment costs and drop proposals to devolve Sunday trading rules in its submission to the Treasury ahead of the Autumn Statement on 25th November.

Since the chancellor’s announcements of the introduction of a National Living Wage of £7.20 in April 2016 and plans to devolve Sunday trading powers to local authorities, investment levels in the convenience sector have fallen by over 35% and optimism has reached its lowest level for two years. ACS has estimated that the removal of Sunday trading regulations would result in a net loss of over 3,270 jobs.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman said: “The announcements made in this year’s Budget will have a significant negative impact on local shops and other small businesses, with many delaying investment plans whilst looking to cut back on the number of staff hours in their business. We urge the Chancellor to take action to reduce the burdens that he has placed on convenience retailers by dropping the unpopular and unnecessary plans to remove Sunday trading regulations and to follow through on his commitment to conduct meaningful reform of business rates.

“In addition to the cost burdens being placed on retailers, they also face a constant battle against the illegal trade which costs the Treasury billions of pounds every year. We are calling on the Government to increase the level of enforcement against duty fraud at a local level to give legitimate retailers the opportunity to trade responsibly without fear of being undercut by criminals in their area selling potentially dangerous goods.”

In the submission, ACS has called for the following measures:

On employment:

  • Extend the remit of the Low Pay Commission to ensure that Government cannot interfere in the setting of wage rates

On business rates:

  • Remove more of the smallest businesses from the rating list altogether
  • Reward investment by providing business rate exemptions for new developments

On Sunday Trading:

  • Drop proposals to devolve Sunday trading powers to local authorities or Metro Mayors

On duty rates:

  • Freeze alcohol and tobacco duty rates at their current level
  • Increase enforcement activity on alcohol duty fraud at a local level

ACS’ full submission is available on the ACS website here: 

Infographic Template (Autumn Statement 2015)

(click on infographic to enlarge)

This entry was posted by Victoria on Fri, 06/11/2015 - 11:00