Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, comments on the Spring Budget 2017.
Commenting on the detail within the Budget, including the announcements on business rates, Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said:
“For smaller businesses who were facing the prospect of sizable business rate hikes, the Chancellor’s efforts to relieve at least some of the pressure will be welcome, particularly by those pulling the perfect pint. For larger businesses however, the Budget won’t have softened the blow much at all.
“The £435m relief fund will see a cap of £50 per month for small businesses coming out of small business relief, as well as a £300 million fund for local authorities to provide discretionary relief for businesses. It remains to be seen how much of this will benefit retail specifically.
“As expected, the Chancellor pointed to a longer-term review of the revaluation process, but the growing use of digital channels were also earmarked to be included in the next review, and online retailers are likely to have shuddered at the thought.
“Business rates aside, for some time now retailers have been facing strong headwinds across the board. Contributing to the perfect storm have been multiple pressures including: the significant devaluation of the pound post-Brexit; the increase in national living wage, and the apprenticeship levy to name just a few.
“In order to weather the storm, retailers big and small must remain agile in this changing and clearly tough political and economic environment. Whether Brexit or Budget, this has always been an industry geared towards survival of the fittest.”
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Simon Wilson, KPMG Corporate Communications
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