Health Stores UK is calling upon new Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, to provide urgent ‘targeted financial support’ for independent retailers.
Hunt – who was appointed as Chancellor on 14 October after his predecessor Kwasi Kwarteng was removed from the position – confirmed yesterday that the Government would make a U-turn on many of the fiscal policies introduced during Kwarteng’s mini budget in September.
Making a statement yesterday afternoon, Health Stores UK (formerly the NAHS) said: “Earlier today, the Chancellor announced that he would abandon virtually all of the controversial tax cuts announced by his predecessor, Kwasi Kwarteng, in last month’s mini-budget.”
The association ‘welcomes assurances from the new Chancellor that the Government will now prioritize restoring fiscal stability and confidence’ but says ‘further clarity is needed on the urgent issue of energy price support for business’.
The situation for independent retailers was becoming increasingly precarious even before the chaos caused by the mini-budget
“The situation for independent retailers was becoming increasingly precarious even before the chaos caused by the mini-budget. A further fall in consumer confidence, worsened by the prospect of higher mortgage costs for millions, means that the case for urgent financial support for small retail businesses is now indisputable,” reads the statement.
Commenting on developments, Health Stores UK co-chair Len Glenville adds: “Independent businesses, such as those run by our members, are being presented with unparalleled challenges for survival. We need action now from Government to ease the burden on small retailers and secure the long-term future for valued local high streets. We look forward to swift action on energy prices, VAT and business rates.”