the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects
Crime
reduction
 


Inward
investment
information
 


Licensee
Forum
 

Workforce development 

Transport
 

Business &
climate
change

Property &
Development sites

Business
Improvement
Districts

Housing
 

Strategy
 

Consultation opportunities
 

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton
business.co.uk

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 17 April 2010
Stephen Robertson, BRC

What major party manifestos mean for retailers

With the two main parties now having published their manifestos, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has issued the following reactions.

Conservative Party Manifesto:

Change the Economy

* “We [will] stop the most damaging part of the National Insurance rise for employers and for anyone earning under £35,000” – BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said, “This is a welcome step in the right direction but the entire increase planned from April 2011 should be scrapped. It is a tax on jobs. It would add £220 million to retailers’ costs, making it more expensive for retailers to employ people, undermining their ability to maintain and create jobs and preventing them maximising their contribution to the recovery.”

* “For the first two years of a Conservative government any new business will pay no Employers National Insurance on the first ten employees it hires during its first year” – Stephen Robertson said, “This is a welcome step to assist new businesses as they start trading. This is the time in their development when they are most vulnerable and most in need of help.”

* “We will cut the headline rate of corporation tax to 25p and the small companies’ rate to 20p, funded by reducing complex reliefs and allowances” – Stephen Robertson said, “In principle, simplification of the complex system of business taxation is a positive move. We will be consulting our members about the precise implications of this move for retail businesses.”

* “Give councils new powers to introduce further discounts on business rates” – Stephen Robertson said, “Business rates are a big burden for retailers. Because they need a lot of property they pay a quarter of all business rates. If this proposal genuinely leads to lower tax bills overall, that’s a good thing.”

Change Society

* “Cracking down on drink- and drug-fuelled violence” Stephen Robertson said, “We don’t need new legislation. There is plenty out there already. It should be properly enforced. Irresponsible drinking is not about price, it’s about culture. Retailers are actively engaged in changing attitudes through information and education. ‘Below cost selling’ is difficult to define. Moves to prevent it may clash with competition law. The Party would first need to properly define ‘below cost’. We would then discuss our response with members.”

Ombudsman

“To ensure the grocery supply code of practice is applied fairly, we will introduce an independent Supermarket Ombudsman.” Stephen Robertson said, “Why would any Government want to intervene in a market that works effectively and delivers great value and choice for customers. This is not about farmers, very few deal directly with supermarkets. An Ombudsman would hand negotiating power to multi-national food businesses and cost customers millions of pounds in higher prices. The current Code is regulated by the OFT and gives suppliers more protection and a new right to independent arbitration if they’re unhappy. “

Labour Party Manifesto:

Growth

* “National Insurance will rise by one penny” – BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said, “This is a tax on jobs. It would add £220 million to retailers’ costs. It would make it more expensive for retailers to employ people, undermining their ability to maintain and create jobs and preventing them maximising their contribution to the recovery.”

* “We renew our pledge not to extend VAT to food, children’s clothes, books, newspapers and public transport fares” – Stephen Robertson said, “This is welcome confirmation of the Labour Party’s intention in this area. But this pledge doesn’t extend to changes to the rate of VAT – an issue of considerable concern for many retailers. Increasing the tax burden on customers at a time of continued economic weakness would be a mistake.”

Living standards

* “A National Minimum Wage rising at least in line with average earnings” – Stephen Robertson said: “The BRC supports the principle of the National Minimum Wage as a base floor for decent pay. But it must reflect economic realities and not hinder retailers’ ability to maintain and create jobs. NMW should not increase faster than average earnings. That would disproportionately affect those people – the youngest and oldest employees – who find it most difficult to get jobs.”

A green recovery

* “Our aim is to create 400,000 new green jobs by 2015” – Stephen Robertson said, “It’s important green jobs are generated as part of the recovery plan, as well as efforts to reach Britain’s ambitious carbon targets by 2020 and beyond. Greater support is required for technologies, such as anaerobic digestion and low carbon commercial refrigeration.”

* “Move towards a ‘zero waste’ Britain, banning recyclable and biodegradable materials from landfill” – “The UK Governments are currently consulting on proposals to ban materials from landfill. It’s unnerving to see manifesto pledges to ban certain materials from landfill, when there has been no agreement that this is the most appropriate means to increase recycling rates. The landfill tax escalator has been an effective means of sending long-term messages to the recycling industry. Banning particular materials from landfill isn’t necessarily going to help development of the most appropriate waste management infrastructure.”


Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Central government
British Retail Consortium
Robertson, Stephen


Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


Headlines

19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017
19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs 11 December 2017
City Centre Vacancy Rates Drop Slightly From Sept 5 December 2017
Innovate UK Announces Sector Competitions in Manufacturing and Infrastructure Systems 5 December 2017
GDPR, steps to early compliance 1 December 2017
The 29th Sussex Business Awards 2017 Winners Announced 1 December 2017
Old tech gear? Give IT a new lease of life 29 November 2017
Driving for Better Business Campaign launches 29 November 2017
ARKA Funerals sponsor Burning the Clocks 2017 with 'In Memory' lanterns 27 November 2017
Govia Thameslink launches third consultation phase on once-in-a-generation timetable restructure 23 November 2017
Coast to Capital Launches Brighton Mainline Alliance 22 November 2017
Calling all UK companies that have transport, parking and commuting issues to address 15 November 2017
Start-up Challenge Business Competition Offering £10,000 Investment to Young Entrepreneurs 15 November 2017
IUK Announces £10 Million Innovation Loans Infrastructure Systems Funding Competition for UK SMEs