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UK retail association is ‘disappointed’ in mini-budget

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has expressed its disappointment that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s mini-budget does not directly help retail business owners.

The new measures to support economic recovery across the UK were announced by the Chancellor on Wednesday 8 July, offering financial incentives, bonus schemes and emergency packages to help out house buyers, employers and the hospitality sector.

“We welcome the various initiatives to bring younger people into work and the support for the hospitality sector,” said Bira’s ceo Andrew Goodacre. “However, it is disappointing that there is no VAT cut for retailers in general and no changes to national insurance.”

He warned: “There needs to be thought given to how consumer demand is stimulated on the high street or many businesses will close and jobs lost.”

Recognising that retailers will be feeling ‘left out’, Thomas Brereton, retail analyst at GlobalData highlighted that the ‘core issue’ for non-essential retail is  ‘crippled consumer confidence’.

Thomas also recognises some ‘side-effects for retail from the announcements’, including a footfall boost for high streets and shopping centres.

Thomas calls for the Chancellor to ‘urgently reconsider providing greater relief for retailers, through some combination of lower business rates, VAT rate reductions, discount stimulus packages and prolonged assistance with furloughed staff’.

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