The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has described itself as “underwhelmed” by support for independent businesses contained in this week’s Spring Statement.
Amongst the measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Statement this week was an immediate cut of 5p in fuel duty plus an increase in the threshold for employee National Insurance payments.
In response to these changes, Bira’s chief executive Andrew Goodacre said: “The Spring Statement is underwhelming for indie retailers, with limited help on rising costs to business. Whilst we support cuts in fuel duty and an increase in NI allowance, this is nowhere near enough to offset 300% increases in energy, 100% increase in rates and double digit increases in the cost of employment.
“Increases in product costs are easier to pass on to consumer, but these rising overhead costs are not, which ultimately means a very difficult year for small retailers,” he added.