The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to put more money in customer’s pockets through changing the tax thresholds, fuel duty and savings and pensions arrangements following this afternoon’s Budget announcement.
BRC Director General, Helen Dickinson said: “Whilst recovery is now a tangible trend, progress is still fragile and retail can play a strong role going forward provided that consumers feel confident enough to spend.”
The BRC said the recent dip in February footfall underlined the importance of business rates reform.
Dickinson added there was scope to increase British e-commerce retail exports from around £4bn to about £28bn per year by 2020 “if the conditions are right.”
David McCorquodale, KPMG’s UK head of retail, commented: “Retailers will be keen to look at the detail of the measures to encourage exports as they look to grow on new frontiers. However, they are still looking for reform of the business rates regime at home and the elimination of the red tape that discourages foreign tourists from making the trip over to the UK.”
It was a quiet month for corporate retailers as the slight reduction in rates to 20 per cent was announced in advance and these changes will not be made until next year.
Alex Faulkner, Director of HR at Phones 4u, said it was promising to see the government looking to address the issue of youth unemployment as part of the budget announcement.
“Businesses need to maximise the potential of young people rather than just providing basic jobs and internships with no challenge or development opportunities.”
The BRC insisted that the whole retail industry will welcome the extension of the annual investment allowance to £500,000.