Reacting to the Budget on Wednesday, British Retail Consortium (BRC) director general Helen Dickinson said: “The support that was secured for customers wasn’t matched by direct help for high street businesses.
“Economic growth is the key to deficit reduction. This was the Chancellor’s opportunity to maximise retailers’ contribution to re-establishing growth by keeping more money in customers’ pockets, and leaving retailers with more money they can invest.
“He’s done well for hard-pressed households but could have done more to help retail businesses to help him deliver jobs and growth.
“Moves on the income tax threshold and fuel duty are great for consumers’ confidence and ability to spend, which will help retailers and the wider economy. But, pressing on with a third-successive substantial business rates rise, is very disappointing. Freezing rates would have made a real difference to our troubled high streets – and the communities that rely on them.
“It’s now even more important that the Government delivers quickly on its existing commitment to reassess the formula for determining future years’ rates increases.”