The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has responded to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, which it says “paints a mixed picture for retail”.
Looking at business rates, the apprenticeship levy and more, BRC’s chief executive, Helen Dickinson OBE, has urged the industry to “re-focus attention to what is going on in retail in the UK as present”.
On business rates revaluations, Dickson said: “We’ve consistently called for more frequent revaluations and welcome the Chancellor’s decision to move forward the next revaluation by a year to 2021 as a step in the right direction. More frequent revaluations are no easy task and require strong collaboration and exchange of information jointly between the Valuation Office and ratepayers.”
Reacting to the Chancellor’s confirmation that the Government will provide £80 million in additional funds to support small businesses to take on apprentices, Dickinson said it “is welcome, but the Government needs to go much further – greater flexibility as to what levy funds may be spent on is urgently required if the retail industry is to play its full role.”
Without retailers’ full involvement the Government’s target of 3 million apprenticeships will not be achievable.”
Read the BRC’s full response here.