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

“This extraordinary economic package from the Chancellor packs a punch. He has not flinched from taking essential action to support jobs and underpin consumer confidence. He has offered urgent action to help firms operate now and in the immediate future.

“The VAT deferral is a vital lifeline for thousands of firms and millions of jobs in UK retail. Hardworking staff across the retail industry should benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will guarantee wages and help keep people in jobs. But it is essential that both are delivered promptly and effectively.”

“However, the challenge to communities, shops, jobs and livelihoods remains all to real. The Government has shown itself to be both bold and flexible in its handling of this unfolding crisis. This approach will be vital in the coming months as further actions may well become essential to the survival of businesses and jobs around the country.”