Fuel duty freeze offers relief to retailers

The Chancellor’s decision not to increase fuel duty in August should offer some relief to the retail sector, says the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The BRC called for the rise to be scrapped ahead of the Budget in March, pointing out it was an upward pressure on prices that made it harder for British businesses to compete internationally.

British Retail Consortium director General Stephen Robertson said: “Fuel price rises do double damage. They eat into customers’ budgets, leaving them less money to spend on the things they need and want. Retailers themselves have to pay more to get goods to their stores, making it harder for them to keep shop prices down.

“The announcement from the Chancellor that he will freeze duty for the rest of the year is a helpful sign that he is aware of the difficulties businesses are facing at the moment. Quicker action on this would’ve given retailers more certainty in planning for the year ahead but it’s still a move we are extremely pleased to see.”

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