The British Retail Consortium has welcomed the Chancellor’s commitments to support the retail industry despite him failing to reassess business rates in yesterday’s 2014 Budget.
George Osborne revealed that business rates discounts and enhanced capital allowances will be extended for another three years.
But he did not build on the announcements he made in the Autumn Statement last year, which included a 2% cap on business rate rises in April.
Aside from this fact, BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “The whole retail industry will welcome the extension of the annual investment allowance. Economic activity in infrastructure, manufacturing and house-building is good for the broad economy, puts more people into work and brings positive benefits to the retail sector.”
Dickinson also welcomed plans by the Goverment to double export finance lending to £3bn and cut interest rates on that lending by a third.
"British retailers in e-commerce already export more than £4 billion of goods to customers overseas,” said BRC director general Helen Dickinson. “There is scope to increase that amount to around £28 billion per year by 2020 if the conditions are right.”
The Chancellor proposed an additional measure to support 100,000 more apprenticeships and scrap the job tax for under-21s.
Again, this proposal was supported by the BRC. “Retail offers young people fantastic career opportunities with great promotion prospects and our members will now be looking at ways to bring even more into our industry,” said Dickinson.