ACS outlines budget ‘wish list’

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In the lead up to the Emergency Budget on Tuesday, the ACS (Association of Convenience Stores) has put forward its recommendations to Government. They include:

A radical re-think of existing enforcement priorities, agency responsibilities and sentencing aiming to recoup 50% of the revenue lost to alcohol and tobacco duty fraud – equivalent to in excess of £2bn per year in revenue

No increase in the headline rate of VAT and no change to the criteria on non VAT-payable products like food and news and magazines

If Ministers decide to implement a VAT rise then:

  • changes must be incremental to prevent dramatic price increases in the short term
  • sufficient lead in must be allowed for retailers to make the necessary changes to prices/systems

Centrally set lending targets for banks, in place for as long as the credit shortage remains

Government intervention to reduce the increased cost of credit and stringent terms on which banks will loan to small businesses

Immediate action to make small business rate relief automatic

No further increases in employment costs including the national minimum wage, until the economy has developed a stable level of growth