Press Releases

Spring Statement: Chancellor Signals New Wage Targets After 2020

In his Spring Statement today (13th March), Chancellor Philip Hammond MP has confirmed that the Government will launch a review into the future of the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage after 2020.

The review of the international evidence relating to the employment and productivity effects of rising wage rates will be conducted by Professor Arin Dube and will consider the views of employers, trade unions, the Low Pay Commission and other stakeholders. The review will report to HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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ACS: Tobacco Track and Trace Timetable Still Unknown

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the Government’s latest consultation on tobacco track and trace regulations, reiterating concerns about the short lead times for implementation.

The consultation asks for views on the enforcement activity that will be introduced to police the track and trace system. In addition to concerns on the timeframes, ACS’ submission seeks clarification on the process for deactivation of identifier codes (which would effectively stop a retailer from selling tobacco in their business) if the regulations are breached.

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ACS: Healthy Start Benefits Communities and Local Shops

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) is encouraging more retailers to accept Healthy Start vouchers, currently only one third of independent retailers take advantage of the scheme.

Healthy Start is a government initiative which provides pregnant women and parents with young children, who are in receipt of qualifying benefits, Healthy Start vouchers. These vouchers can be used to purchase milk, fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk from local shops which have signed up to the scheme.

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Access to Cash Must Be Protected for Millions Who Rely on It Every Day

ACS has welcomed the publication of the final Access to Cash Review, calling on the Government to ensure that consumer’s access to cash is protected in the future.

The review, published this morning (6th March), notes that while the UK’s cash use is in decline, we are still a long way away from becoming a cashless society as millions of people still rely on cash on a daily basis. The review found that 17% of the UK population (8 million adults) would struggle to cope in a cashless society, while 97% of the population still carry cash on them.

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Rural Convenience Stores “Indispensable Hub” For Thousands of Isolated Communities

The Association of Convenience Stores has called on the Government to ensure that there is a level playing field for the UK’s 16,944 rural convenience stores which allows them to keep pace with new technology and continue providing essential services to local people.

The 2019 Rural Shop Report reveals that rural convenience stores provide flexible jobs for almost 140,000 people, have invested over £271m in improving their businesses, and are providing a wider range of services despite being hampered by slower than average broadband speeds and unreliable mobile connectivity.

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Convenience Stores Support Universal Plastic Bag Charge in England

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed Government proposals to extend the plastic bag charge in England to all retailers, as long as there are no additional reporting requirements on small businesses.

The Government is currently consulting on the extension of the plastic bag charge in England to businesses with fewer than 250 employees. A 5p charge for plastic bags has been in place for large businesses in England since 2015, with supermarkets reporting that plastic bag sales have fallen by 86% after the introduction of the charge.

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Most Local Shops Still Unaware of Making Tax Digital Responsibilities

With less than six weeks to go until the introduction of Making Tax Digital rules, only one in four convenience store retailers know what they need to do comply with the changes.

From 1st April 2019, all businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) must keep their VAT records digitally and use Making Tax Digital (MTD) compatible software to submit their VAT returns.

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ACS: Manual Deposit Returns Won’t Work in Convenience Stores

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has responded to the publication of a new consultation from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, calling on the Government to ensure that a manually administered deposit return scheme does not form part of its plan to encourage people to recycle more.

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