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Commenting on measures announced by the Chancellor in the Budget, John Drummond, Chief Executive of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) said,

“The increase in duty on alcohol and tobacco was predictable. Duty increases play into the hands of “white van man” by fuelling the black market in tobacco and alcohol. This will have a negative impact on sales for legitimate retailers.

“Many of our members were concerned about proposals to increase fuel duty by three pence per litre. The proposal to phase in the increase will offer some relief.

“SGF remain disappointed that the Chancellor is proceeding with the planned increase in National Insurance Contributions. Employment costs are one of the biggest expenses for small shops. We believe during these challenging economic times the Government should be taking steps to encourage retailers to invest in additional staff and training rather than increasing the pressure on small shops.”

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