BRC urges Chancellor to be bold
The British Retail Consortium has urged the Chancellor George Osborne to hold back business rates, remove barriers to job creation and improve access to overseas markets as he prepares his Autumn Statement.
In a letter to the Chancellor, the BRC asked him to deliver genuine support for growth by holding back costs under his control.
The BRC is concerned about the 5.6% rise in inflation-pegged business rates scheduled for next year and has called for a radical rethink. This follows the Retail Price Index reaching a 20 year high in September.
The organisation has also advised the Chancellor to keep any increase in National Minimum Wage to no more than 2.1% and to help online retailers by pushing the European Commission to deliver a single digital market.
British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: "With consumer spending and retail job numbers dropping, rebuilding the confidence of customers to spend and retailers to return to investing and creating jobs has to be the Chancellor's priority.
"He must hold back the costs he is responsible for. Freezing Council Tax offers welcome relief to hard-pressed households. The Chancellor should go further and help businesses and consumers by freezing fuel duty rates.
"Our latest figures show retail job creation cannot be taken for granted. If employment is to grow, it's affordability, not precedent, that should govern property and employment costs. And, eighteen months on from the election, it needs to be accompanied by urgent delivery on pulling down regulatory barriers that are holding back growth."
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