The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI) has called on the Chancellor to take action to stimulate growth in the economy and to lift burdens on consumers in his autumn statement on December 4.
In its submission the RMI said monthly new car sales had risen successively during 2013 to a five and half year high of 403,136 in September, but this was still 14.9% below pre-recession sales levels in 2007.
It added: “Government must continue to stimulate the economy in order to sustain and build upon the growth of the retail motor industry and other key sectors. An economic environment needs to be created that not only incentivises growth and investment but also stimulates consumer confidence and demand. To secure the future growth of the UK economy Government needs to improve employment prospects, and business confidence needs to be addressed through a low and simple tax and regulatory regime that works to encourage the retention and employment of staff and also encourages business expansion.”
It highlighted a number of areas where the Government could help to boost the motor industry sector including cutting the regulatory burden on business, calling on it to enact the Draft Deregulation Bill into law as soon as possible, and for reform of employment law and health and safety regulation.
It also said the Government should look to reduce corporation tax rates and should commit to freezing business rates for the foreseeable future. In addition it called for small business rate relief schemes to be extended beyond their current deadlines.
Changes to consumer credit regulation and apprenticeships were also raised by RMI. It said the Government needed to monitor compliance costs on consumer credit for small firms and encourage finance houses to develop low cost options for small firms.
And while RMI agrees with Government that apprenticeships need to be reformed, it was concerned that if changes are enacted that place the financial burden of apprenticeships on the employer, it was likely that there will be a significant decrease in the number of firms willing to take on an apprentices.