Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says:
“The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on retail. So far this year 125,000 jobs have been lost in retail and 14,000 shops have permanently closed. Tomorrow the Chancellor needs to reverse course and announce a successor to the jobs retention scheme, something we have consistently called for.
“Alongside that we need the Government to work with unions and employers on an immediate retail recovery plan that will give targeted support to an industry that is struggling, and longer-term retail strategy, to deal with the big problems facing the sector, like business rates reform and high rents.
“If we are going to save the high street, there needs to be radical and bold action to level the playing field between online retail and ‘bricks and mortar’ shops. The time is long overdue for the Government to look seriously at introducing some form of online sales tax.
“As a society we have a choice, do we want to see the high street go to the wall or do we want to save it. Retail is the cornerstone of our towns, cities and communities. It employs around 3 million people and needs urgent assistance to get the industry back on its feet.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news
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