NI hike adds to struggling indies’ burden, warns Bira


The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) says the UK Government’s plans to increase in National Insurance contributions could put a further burden on struggling indies.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson announced plans to hike National Insurance contributions by 1.25% from next April to help fund a shortfall in social care. It is expected the levy will raise £36 billion over three years.

Bira says that, while it appreciates the strain on the NHS and social care system, it is concerned this type of tax hike will put a further burden on independent retailers when they are already struggling post-pandemic.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “We all recognise the problems faced by the NHS and the need to improve our social care system.

“However, of all the options available to the Government, it is disappointing that increases in National Insurance have been chosen because of the impact on lower paid workers and small businesses.

“NI has been burden for some time and on top of this we will no doubt see above inflation increases to the National Minimum Wage announced in the autumn to compound the impact of these increases.

“Despite all the positive economic data, this recovery is still very fragile and independent retailers will need all their reliance and determination to withstand these increases, managing increased levels of debt, rising prices and the supply chain problems. We need more support, not more burden.”