// The BRC has called on the next government to support the retail sector
// The retail industry accounts for 5% of the total UK economy
// It also generates £17 billion in business taxes
The next government has been adjured to “empower” the retail industry by the BRC as it is transformed by new technology and changing consumer behaviour.
The trade association’s “A Vision for the UK Retail Industry” manifesto sets out three key priorities the next government should focus on to support the retail sector.
The BRC has called on the next government to reverse the business rates by “scrapping ‘downwards transition’, which takes £1.3 billion from retailers every five years”; reform elements of the apprenticeship levy to “allow greater flexibility to spend on any accredited training”; and to act on retail crime.
- Wet weather & Brexit uncertainty drags October footfall figures
- Retail staff abused, threatened or assaulted over 21 times a year on average
Meanwhile, the retail industry accounts for five per cent of the total UK economy and contributes £98.4 billion gross value annually, according to the BRC.
It also generates £17 billion in business taxes and is the largest private-sector employer in the country, with more than three million people directly employed.
“A Vision for the UK Retail Industry offers a path to empowering our shops, our shopworkers and our communities,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“Political parties should grasp this chance for reform. The general election is a unique opportunity to address many of the imbalances that are adversely affecting retailers. Imbalances that have led to job losses and store closures up and down the country,” she said.
“Fixing the broken business rates system and reforming the apprenticeship levy would help unlock the necessary investment into skills, stores and online necessary to allow retail to thrive.”
The polls will take place on December 12.