Stores in plea for budget aid
Mar 9 2009 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
RETAILERS are today urging the Chancellor to extend the VAT reduction and freeze business rates in his upcoming Budget to help the sector through the “toughest trading conditions in decades”.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is calling on Alistair Darling to introduce a range of measures for the battered sector.
Its plea comes as reports suggest retailers are heading for a showdown with Mr Darling over plans to raise business rates next month by more than £1 billion.
Retail sector heavyweights such as Topshop owner Sir Philip Green have sought to change the Government’s decision to raise rates by 5% as they fear it could push struggling companies into insolvency and lead to thousands more jobs losses.
The BRC said 15% of shops are already predicted to close amid the recession, with up to 200,000 jobs axed as the economic woes hit the high street hard.
In its Budget submission, it is asking the Chancellor to offer a range of help, including freezing all new business rate burdens, keeping increases in the national minimum wage to below 1.5% and cancelling the proposed 0.5% increase in National Insurance contributions.