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

16 May 2018
Can you help us help rough sleepers? Search for a venue to provide shelter
15 May 2018
New Research Reveals Cost of Opening A Business in Brighton: £6,000 11 May 2018
Tech firm SaleCycle to open new office in Brighton, creating 30+ new jobs 4 May 2018
Get involved - National Numeracy Day This 16 May 1 May 2018
BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT INDUSTRY CELEBRATES 300 BIDS 1 May 2018
Barclays' High Growth & Entrepreneurs Awards 2018 launch to celebrate start-up leaders in the UK 30 April 2018
Barclays launches major drive to help SMEs tackle Cymbercrime 24 April 2018
An evening with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer 24 April 2018
"A triumph of innovation" 13 April 2018
Brighton city Centre Vacancy Rates continue to buck national trend 12 April 2018
The Ivy in the Lanes Set to open 2 May 2018 11 April 2018
Free Dr Bike Service Returns 20 March 2018
Brighton named most entrepreneurial city AND second best for student happiness according to Fresh Student Living 19 March 2018
A Meeting with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer - Why Business Matters 14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS 7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 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