New budget gets mixed reception from BRC

Industry group welcomes small business tax relief but disappointed by business rate hike
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The British Retail Consortium has welcomed some aspects of the new budget but has expressed concerns over others.

The group was positive about a number of aspects including the suspension of fuel duty, pledges to reduce red tape and infrastructure investment. It also welcomed the announcement of a small business rate relief, but warned that setting the qualifying bar so low meant that many businesses in the South-East would miss out.

The BRC also expressed concerns that a postponement of business rate hikes falls short of the genuine reform needed to support UK business.

“The option to postpone 60 per cent of April's increase will be a modest help but the bills will still have to be paid in the end. Offering a delay stops well short of implementing a significantly lower increase,” commented the BRC’s director general, Stephen Robertson.

"The Chancellor should have taken the opportunity to switch to a lower CPI-based rise, as he has done for pensions and benefits, and the deferral scheme needs to be simple and workable unlike the last time this was tried."