James Lowman: ACS in action

All posts from: April 2015

Policy watch

Posted by: James Lowman Mon, 27 Apr 2015

The UK population is gearing up to go to the polls and whichever party or parties form the next government, they will face a similar agenda.

Any new government will have to finish the job of looking at business rates. There are likely to be winners and losers from this review, so we need to make the strongest case possible for a system that rewards convenience store retailers who invest, and fight for a system that is simpler and fair for all types of business – big and small store, online and bricks and mortar.

The incoming government will also have a public health agenda. Both main parties will be looking to give more powers to local authorities to tackle public health issues, bringing challenges to retailers selling not just tobacco, but alcohol, sugar and salt in whatever form.

There has been a lot of talk, too, about commitments to raise the minimum wage above inflation in the next parliament. The ACS doesn’t believe the National Minimum Wage should be a political point-scoring tool – governments should allow the independent Low Pay Commission to make measured recommendations.

However, the election campaign has been an opportunity for retailers to engage with MPs and candidates, and it’s important to keep these relationships going after the election.
There are examples on our YouTube channel of retailers who have done some great engagement work, from inviting candidates to store openings to hosting a hustings event for candidates to debate local issues. Talk to us about arranging a visit on 01252 515001, or email Julie.byers@acs.org.uk.

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