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Retailers react to new Prime Minister Liz Truss


Liz Truss

New prime minister Liz Truss has vowed to cut taxes and deal with the energy crisis after winning the leadership race against Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

She previously outlined plans to scrap Sunak’s proposed corporation tax and implement other tax reductions for firms.

The retailer industry has called on her to make good on these promises and provide support as the cost-of-living crisis rages on.

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BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “The retail industry is ready to work with the new government to shore up consumer confidence and help deliver economic growth.

“Businesses need clarity on the government’s intentions as soon as possible so they can understand the inflationary impact of any policy decisions.

“One immediate way the Government can help retailers support their customers is to freeze the business rates multiplier for all retail businesses for the next financial year, protecting the industry from rates increases linked to inflation, and giving greater scope to hold down prices, protect jobs, and support the economy.”

Sainsbury’s chief financial officer, Kevin O’Byrne told Retail Week “urgent and fundamental” busiess rates reform was needed.

“We call for an immediate and permanent freeze to the multipliers followed by a headline cut to the rates shops pay.

“All retailers, both big and small, are facing soaring costs and supply chain pressures. A business rates reform would not only prevent store closures and protect much-needed jobs but for Sainsbury’s and many other food retailers, a reduction in rates would also enable greater investment into keeping food prices low for customers at this really critical time.”

British Independent Retailers Association CEO, Andrew Goodacre asked for financial supports for smaller retailers, who are facing 50% increases in energy costs.

“At the same time we need to improve consumer confidence for the all important final quarter of the year. To do this the government needs to give certainly to the energy bills being paid with no more increases. This will allow households (and businesses) to budget and plan ahead,” he said.

“Another way of stimulating demand is to reduce VAT, and this should also be considered. In the medium term the government needs to introduce a grant or loan system that encourages smaller businesses to invest in energy saving technology, therefore reducing the demand for energy.

“This could also be done in the form of tax breaks and wholesale reform of the business rates system.”

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