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prices relief for small shops and freezing on beer, cider and spirits

Hammond promised to help small stores by lowering business rates by one third to all dealers in England with a tax value of $ 51,000 or less. This would mean an annual saving of up to £ 8,000 for up to 90% of all independent stores, pubs, restaurants and cafes, he says.

James Lowman, Executive Director of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS): "We have long been fighting for changes in the tax system and are pleased that the chancellor has listened to the concerns of companies by introducing a third discount to calculate bills for small businesses such as will save the convenience sector up to £ 50m over the next two years.

"For local business in high streets, operating costs are significantly higher, so we welcome additional funding for local government to support these companies."

Co-financing of 675 million euro would be used to create a "Future High Streets Fund" to support advice to develop plans for transforming their high streets and create the necessary infrastructure to support them.

Hammond also revealed that the contribution of small businesses to a apprenticeship fee should be reduced from 1

0% to 5%.

Customs duties on beer, cider, spirits and fuel shall be frozen, but the tobacco tax will increase by another 2% plus inflation.

There will, however, be a normal price increase on the prize price and announced at last autumn's budget, so-called "white ciders" will be taxed at a new higher tax rate.

Campaigns have described the announcement that Tobacco Fee will increase by another two percent plus inflation as "grossly unfair".

Said Lowman: "Tobacco increases only serve to drive more consumers into dangerous illegal markets and underestimate legitimate, responsible dealers. The government still needs to do more to support local enforcement against illegal trafficking."

Simon Clark, chief for smoking forest Forest, said: "Another increase in tobacco tax is grossly unfair, because the hardest people are who can afford it at least."

"It will inevitably encourage more people to buy tobacco in the black market. This will beat legitimate dealers and the government will lose much needed revenue, so no one wins apart from criminal gangs and illegal traders. "

The Chancellor also revealed that the National Living Act will increase from £ 7.83 one hour to 8.21 from April 2019. Lowman commented:" When wage increases increase, retailers must make tough decisions on how they handle the effect, with many who have to work longer hours themselves and others who reduce employee hours and total jobs

"We continue to work with the Low Payment Commission to ensure they are considering the effects of higher payroll rates on businesses and welcome the government's approval of recommendations of the low pay committee. "

On the environment Hammond announced a new tax on manufacturing and importing plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic. But he said there were no plans to introduce a single-use plastic bill, the so-called latte fee.

Lowman said, "We will work with the government and the supply chain on the new tax on plastic packaging applied to manufacturers to ensure that there are no unintended consequences for retailers."

Ian Wright, Head of Food & Drink Federation (FDF), added: "While we are committed to reducing packaging waste and working with the government, today's new tax on plastic packaging will result in significantly increased costs for UK food and beverage manufacturers due to the input costs required to produce recycled packaging of food. "

  • Retailers in Northern Ireland want to know if the tax rates relief kit issued by Hammond will apply in the province. Retail NI's Managing Director Glyn Roberts said: "Retail NI will seek urgent clarification from the government that the proposed reduction of the corporate interest rate cut outlined for independent dealers in England will apply to Northern Ireland. We are strongly convinced that Business Rate relief applies to Northern Ireland and will fight for this. "

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