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SRC recommends budget proposals to support retail recovery

Set across six key measures, the industry body has called for action to stimulate consumer spending, protect vulnerable consumers, and aid hard-pressed businesses

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has published a number of recommendations for the 2022-2023 Scottish Government’s budget to support a sustainable retail recovery.

Set across six key measures, the industry body has called for action to stimulate consumer spending, protect vulnerable consumers, and aid hard-pressed businesses.

While the first proposal covers “enticing” people back to city centres to encourage spending, other suggestions are more concrete.

The SRC urged Scottish Government to not increase income tax rates for low and modest earners, and to further discount business rates in 2022-2023.

Moreover, the body asked for progress towards a “level playing field” with England’s commercial premises rates, as well as both a pause on the introduction of workplace parking levies and a rejection of a ban on New Year’s Day trading.

Finally, clarity was requested in the upcoming budget regarding new company reporting obligations outlined in a recent accord with the Green Party.

David Lonsdale, director at the SRC, said: “Much of the industry is in a fragile condition – but one which with the right support can help to drive a sustainable economic recovery. 

“To do that, the finance secretary should protect less affluent consumers from tax rate increases, provide a modest discount to business rates for retailers, and look to pep up consumer spending.”

He added: “If we can encourage consumers back to normal spending patterns that will kick-start a recovery for shops, eateries, and suppliers. 

“The last few years have seen the Scottish budget promote growth and support business – it’s vital that continues this year.”

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