Kwarteng bets on growth

image of british bank notesScottish Retail

NEW Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has unveiled a raft of fiscal policies set to affect convenience and grocery retailers, in a mini-budget announcement late last month.

In his fiscal statement, Kwarteng canned the 1.25p increase on National Insurance, introduced earlier this year. The change will take effect from 6 November.

The planned rise in corporation tax for next year has also been scrapped, with the rate for businesses making profits of more than £50,000 remaining at 19%.

The government has also reversed a planned overhaul of alcohol duty. Kwarteng instead opted to freeze duty rates for beer, wine, cider and spirits.

Tax-free shopping for tourists is also set to return – a move that was welcomed by the Scottish Retail Consortium.

Chancellor Kwarteng’s package also included a raft of tax cuts, mostly benefitting those on higher incomes.

Kwarteng argued that the tax cuts will fuel economic growth, however markets reacted negatively to the announcement.

The pound sterling was in major decline as Scottish Grocer went to press, with some analysts warning a run on the pound could lead to further fuel and food price inflation in the UK.