Usdaw calls on chancellor to ‘save our shops’ ahead of budget

Empty shop

Usdaw has added its voice to retailers in calling on the chancellor to deliver urgently needed business rates reforms to “tackle the retail sector crisis”.

The union said it was launching a ‘Save Our Shops’ campaign calling for an ‘industrial strategy for retail’ that would: “review taxation, commercial rents and business rates to ensure a level playing field” between bricks-and-mortar and pureplay retailers; provide a blanket minimum wage of £10 for all retail workers; and give staff a say “over the future of retail and the introduction of new technology”.

Usdaw said new chancellor Rishi Sunak could go some way to achieving this in his first budget, due to be delivered this Wednesday, by “tackling disproportionate business rates, ending excessive town and city-centre parking charges and eliminating violence, threats and abuse against shops staff”.

The union’s general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “With 57,000 job losses across the sector last year, the government needs to use this budget to tackle the issues behind the retail sector crisis.

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