Contact Us: 0800 121 6376

Last month, our political engagement team wrote to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to urge him to take measures to support the independent retail sector in the autumn 2021 Budget. The following is a summary of this pre-Budget briefing.

The briefing called on Mr Sunak to:

  • Reduce business rates permanently for all small businesses
  • Increase employer National Insurance thresholds
  • Support independent retailers to upgrade store CCTV and security systems
  • Confirm that deposits paid on drinks containers under deposit return schemes in the UK will not be subject to VAT.

Business rates have long been one of the biggest financial burdens suffered by independent retailers. As rates rose, competition from large online retailers paying a fraction of the business rates of a store on a local parade of shops also increased.

The support given to those with rateable values of less than 15,000 and the 100% relief granted during the pandemic was invaluable in helping the sector weather the challenges they faced. Research by the ACS shows that, without the 100% relief during the pandemic, 42% of convenience stores would have closed.

We called on the Chancellor to set business rate relief permanently at 100% for smaller retailers with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

As wages increase, so do employers’ National Insurance contributions and payments to staff auto-enrolment pension schemes. Next year, employers will be faced with the new 1.5% social levy being added to their costs.

The NFRN therefore urged Mr Sunak to reduce some of the burden on members by increasing the threshold at which employers start paying NI contributions.

In an effort to tackle the problem of retail crime, particularly verbal and physical attacks on retailers and their staff, the Chancellor was also urged to fund a grant scheme to assist retailers in upgrading security and CCTV in their stores.

The final point called for Mr Sunak to support the government’s plans for a DRS scheme and use the Budget to announce that deposits paid for in-scope drinks containers would not be subject to VAT.

Please note this edition of The Fed went to press before the Budget was announced. There will be a report in the December issue on how it will impact on members.

Related Articles

Related Articles

Menzies Distribution – Temporary Relocation Of The Perth Branch

Menzies distribution have released an update about the temporary geographical relocation of the Perth branch.
Read More

Don’t ignore smaller shops, NFRN urges Prime Minister

Don’t ignore smaller shops, NFRN urges Prime Minister
Read More

Don’t ignore struggling businesses, NFRN tells Rishi Sunak

While today’s £350 help package for households is welcome, independent retailers are calling on it to be extended to help small businesses struggling amid rocketing costs.
Read More