Asking small businesses to cut product prices as a way for the government to help Brits with the cost-of-living crisis was deemed as a “slap in the face” by trade bodies.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) argued that forcing small firms to “soak up additional costs just isn’t realistic,” as business owners are no longer able to absorb costs “without passing them on.”
“It’s a slap in the face for government to spend the extra tax it is raising from businesses on state-run marketing campaigns – doubtless focused on big businesses with corporate offers that can now be rebranded as helping the cost of living crisis, and so boost their sales,” FSB’s national chair Martin McTague told the BBC earlier today.
The FSB executive called on the government to do more to help both firms and consumers, including reducing VAT rates.
McTague’s comments came as the government is set to launch the campaign in July.
The taxpayer-funded ad campaign was conceived by former Just Eat chief executive David Buttress, who earlier this month was appointed by the government as the cost-of-living tsar.
Brought in on an unpaid basis, Buttress is working “in partnership with the private sector to identify, develop and promote new and existing business-led initiatives that support people by encouraging businesses to do more to highlight discounted prices or product offers.”
Businesses – both big and small – have been impacted by a “very challenging” trading environment as cash-stripped Brits continue to tighten their belts following rocketing inflation rates.
Supermarket Morrisons has seen sales drop by 6.4 per cent in the second quarter of the year, while discount retailer B&M reported a 9.1 per cent slump in sales for the 13 weeks ending 25 June, City A.M. reported.