Election 2019: Do any of the manifestos offer real hope for retailers?

Empty shop

No sooner had my last column hit the presses than a full complement of manifestos were unveiled.

We are now replete with policy promises from all the political parties, all but one of which has supplied us with a weighty volume (the Brexit Party choosing instead to offer a far more svelte ‘contract with the people’).

While each contains a broad selection of commitments, business in general (and retail in particular) will be heartened by a range of targeted promises. However, as we well know, political party manifesto promises are sometimes a far cry from the reality of delivering them in practice.

On business rates, it seems the parties (and perhaps even more importantly, the Treasury) may just now be getting the hint that the retail industry, in the midst of rapid and far-reaching transformation, cannot continue to shoulder an ever-increasing c.£7.5bn property tax burden in perpetuity.

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