Wednesday’s Spring Budget has been greeted with negativity from the wholesale industry, with the FWD disappointed at the lack of energy support as well as aid for the immediate labour challenges wholesalers face.
The FWD’s thoughts on the key areas:
Alcohol duties – The duty cut for draught product is welcome but the broader alcohol stealth tax introduced by the Chancellor will harm the convenience sector, ultimately raise the price of a pint in pubs and serve to deepen inflation and the cost of living crisis.
Energy – The level of support provided to businesses especially in the hospitality sector is insufficient and it is disappointing that this hasn’t been addressed within this budget. We hope the Government will work to support pubs and restaurants through this period of high inflation and economic challenge.
Labour shortages – The Chancellor has failed out to outline how the major challenges of labour shortages plaguing the economy will be addressed. We welcome the introduction of returnerships and increased skills bootcamp funding, but these are medium term solutions and a short term response should be introduced to support the economy in the here and now.
Fuel duty – The extension of the 5% fuel duty cut is a welcome move. This will save wholesalers significant sums against the challenging backdrop of high fuel prices owing to the Ukraine conflict.
Investment – We welcome the introduction of a full capital expensing scheme which will create a financial incentive for our members to invest in plant machinery, renewables and scale up operations.