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Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021

Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out his spending plans in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021. A number of measures have been announced that will impact our industry. These measures include:

Rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage from 1 April 2022 (NLW increases from £8.91 to £9.50 an hour. NMW for people aged 21-22 goes up to £9.18 an hour. Apprentice Rate increases to £4.81 an hour).

• To support local high streets as they adapt and recover from the pandemic, the government is introducing a 50% business rates discount for 2022-23 for eligible businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, up to a maximum of £110,000.

Apprentices and traineeships have been put high on the Treasury's agenda. £1.6 billion to roll out T-levels, £550m invested in adult skills and apprenticeships funding will increase to £2.7 billion by 2024-25– the first increase since 2019-20 – to support businesses to build the skilled workforce they need. The £3,000 apprentice hiring incentive for employers has been extended until January 2022.

Rise by 1.25% to National Insurance contributions (as previously announced) from 1 April 2022 to fund health and social care.

Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget announcement yesterday, Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

“Today, the Chancellor spoke of a new age of optimism, but retailers will struggle to share his confidence after a Budget that does not do enough to reduce the burden of costs bearing down on our shops, our high streets and our communities.

“This budget is a missed opportunity for retail and the three million people who work in the industry, and it prevents retail from maximising its contribution to the government’s levelling up agenda.”




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