Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s recent mini-budget has been welcomed by the FWD, after the government addressed several major issues such as food price inflation and the energy crisis
“FWD welcomes the several of business-related measures announced by the Chancellor today. The recent escalations in the cost of doing business, food price inflation and the pervasive impact of the energy crisis needed to be addressed and several important measures have been introduced today,” said chief executive James Bielby.
Energy – “We welcome the package of support for businesses. We hope the Chancellor will also be able to provide certainty for the longer term, and acknowledge the impact price rises are having on energy intensive sectors such as food and drink wholesale. Policy solutions including business rates reliefs for affected sectors must include the likes of food and drink wholesale”.
IR35 Rules – “We welcome steps by the Government to revisit IR35 rule changes. The reforms of 2021 contributed to the HGV driver shortage which plagued the wholesale sector. We are keen for the Government to find a solution which supports self-employed workers and protects our vital supply chains”.
Investment Zones – “The principles of investment zones are welcome, in particular the associated 100% business rates relief, National Insurance relief, allowance for machinery assets and relaxed planning laws. We hope to see these zones applied widely to encourage the growth of the wholesale sector and for some of the perks, such as rates relief, to be offered on a nationwide basis”.
Alcohol Duty – “Freezes in alcohol duty are essential to combat rising inflation and the cost of living crisis. We therefore welcome the steps taken by the Chancellor to introduce an 18 month freeze on all alcohol duties”.
EU regulations – We understand the Government are keen to maximise the benefits of Brexit but hope that the sunsetting of EU regulations can be done in a way to minimise friction in trading, to limit rather than create new red tape for food and drink wholesalers”.
VAT – “We hope the Government goes further in its use of VAT to stimulate the economy. A lower VAT rate for hospitality venues will encourage participation in the UK economy, drive growth and support a struggling hospitality sector”.