Retail NI Reaction to UK Budget Statement

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3RD March 2021

Reacting to the Chancellors UK Budget statement, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Overall, this Budget is a bit of a ‘Curate’s egg’ with a mixture of positive and not so positive measures for the business community in Northern Ireland”

“We welcome the extension of the Furlough scheme until the end of September, but with employers expected to contribute 10% which will rise to 20% in the summer, it does reinforce the need for the Executive to clarify the timescale of its ‘strategy’ of lifting restrictions and allowing businesses to reopen”

“The Chancellor outlined proposals for a £6k Restart Grant per premises for independent retailers and other businesses – this is something we want our own Executive to introduce in Northern Ireland”

“Rishi Sunak has also introduced a year of rate relief for independent retailers in England and this is something our members expect to be brought forward by own Finance Minister”

“The increase of Corporation Tax could potentially cause problems for our recovery and poses huge questions for the future of Northern Ireland having a similar rate to RoI. That being said, it is welcome that some smaller businesses will be protected from this increase with the maintained 19% small profits rate”

“The big questions arising from this Budget are now directed back to the Northern Ireland Executive and how they are going to use the £410m extra funding to support business as we begin the long road toward a post-pandemic recovery”

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