October 13, 2016
Conservative Home: Margaret Thatcher, the daughter of a grocer, understood the importance of the British entrepreneurial spirit in ensuring we have a thriving economy.
She also understood that one of the best ways to make sure that hard working families felt the benefit of that growth was to make sure prices were kept under control.
That is why it should be worrying for the Government that yesterday over 2,000 newsagents, publicans and small business owners from across the country wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking him to scrap the soft drinks tax.
The letters were delivered by hand to the Treasury by the Face the Facts: Can the Tax coalition, which represents thousands of businesses from all corners of the UK that oppose the tax.
Research from the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) predicts the soft drinks tax will cost newsagents thousands of pounds a year in lost revenue.
In addition, independent researchers at Oxford Economics have warned the tax will cost the UK economy £132 million and could put over 4,000 jobs at risk.
Not since the infamous pasty tax of 2012 has the party of business intervened in the real economy in such a hazardous way.
I think the sheer number of letters to the Chancellor illustrates the huge opposition to the soft drinks tax from Britain’s small businesses and the people who work for them.
The Government is irresponsibly putting more than 4,000 jobs across the country at risk for a tax which research shows will only reduce calorie intake by five calories per person, per day.
Paul Baxter, CEO, The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) who helped hand in the letters said yesterday:
“The fact that so many newsagents are today warning of the risk the soft drinks tax poses should give the Chancellor pause for thought. Newsagents are at the heart of every community in the UK giving us a unique perspective on the real economy.”
“Most newsagents are family run businesses meaning that losing thousands of pounds a year in revenue is going to hit them hard. The Chancellor needs to scrap the tax now.”