Hazlemere Windows support the BRC’s VAT stance

There are no doubts many businesses across the UK who will hope the Government delays its highly unpopular 2.5% VAT increase on December 31st.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has made a robust stance in calling for a delay to this Value Added Tax increase. The BRC has reinforced the nationwide plea by many UK retailers not to raise the current 15 per cent to 17.5 per cent VAT at the end of the year, given it is the busiest and lucrative time annually for the high street, and could potentially damage thousands of businesses within the sector.

A report released by the BRC in May announced that the VAT cut to 15 per cent during 2008 cost the retail industry a staggering £90m to action, and when (as currently planned) the increase goes ahead in December, is likely to cost retailers the same again.

For some unknown reason the BRC are only requesting that the deadline be put back one month, but more significantly they want an instant freeze on all new business rate burdens and the reinstatement of empty property rate relief, as the many empty retail shop units in most high streets are a detriment to all retailers, looking to attract footfall.

â€ŔChanging VAT rates back to 17.5 per cent at the end of December will soak up a lot of effort at the busiest and most important time of the year for most retailers,” say Stephen Robertson, the Director General of the BRC. â€ŔFor some shops post-Christmas sales were 50 per cent above normal, so it’s a time when staff should be focusing on serving customers. Re-pricing is very labour intensive and the need for overtime and bank holiday employees will make it a costly distraction for retailers. The Government should postpone the reintroduction of the 17.5 per cent VAT rate by at least a month.”

The VAT increase, combined with planned business rate rises and other rising costs, is likely to lead to further job losses. The retail sector has been the backbone of our economy for decades; providing one in nine UK jobs, so surely the Government needs to quickly recognise this and sustain the foundations and heritage that are now under serious threat of collapse.

Hazlemere Windows are one of thousands of businesses in the UK who could be affected by the increase. Paying the 17.5 per VAT wouldn’t just equate to a surge in their business rates, but could potentially lose us business. We provide windows, doors and conservatories to both the domestic and commercial customers, and are conscious the increase in VAT to 17.5% from 1st January 2010 could deter people from ordering in early 2010.

Mark Austin, Marketing Director, of Bucks Based Hazlemere Window Company Ltd
Mark Austin, Marketing Director, Hazlemere Window Company Ltd
â€ŔWhilst most businesses can claim most of VAT back, sadly the vast majority of Hazlemere Windows, Doors & Conservatories retail customers can not,” says Mark Austin, Marketing Director at Hazlemere. â€ŔTherefore any tax increase is clearly not an incentive to purchase retail goods to help stimulate the British economy. Hazlemere Window Company supports the BRC’s initiative to delay the implementation of the VAT tax increase by a month, and would much prefer no increase until the retail economy was in a healthier position.”


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