BRC urges government to reduce burden on retailers

British Retail Consortium report flags benefits of sector in helping to shore up country's economy.

The Government must reduce burdens on retailers to help the sector stay less vulnerable to the poor economy, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said.

The BRC's new report UK Retailing - Leading Globally, Serving Locally emphasises retail's huge contribution in tax, employment and value.

The report, produced by Oxford Economics and the Oxford Institute of Retail Management, shows the sector's contributions:

- The economy £292bn of retail sales in 2010, 20 per cent of GDP, £180bn of goods purchased for resale and £47bn of goods and services used by retailers themselves.

- Employment 10.5 per cent of all jobs, 40 per cent of under 20s employment, 12 per cent of total UK investment in training.

- Customer value Goods five per cent cheaper overall than the eurozone. Households now spend 10 per cent of income on food compared with a third in the 1950s.

- Tax £18bn from the four largest taxes including 28 per cent of all business rates.

Greenhouse Garden Centre owner Malcolm Scott said: "Our business rates are huge. The fact is the Government has said private enterprise has got to create new employment, particularly youth employment.

"For its part, it also has to focus on reducing taxes and cutting burdens on private enterprise."

Retailing Contributing to growth

Retail can help growth but the Government must:

- Keep Government-generated costs under control - for example, business rates and the national minimum wage.

- Support customers and businesses by abandoning the planned 2012 fuel duty increases.

- Revitalise the Red Tape Challenge, which so far has failed to deliver any significant deregulation.

- Help to open up export markets such as EU e-commerce.

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