l We're backing The Grocer's 'Push Back the Tax' campaign and would urge the government to seriously reconsider its plans to bring VAT back up to 17.5% on 31 December. The festive and new year periods are the busiest times of year for most retailers and Netto is no exception. And with the recession ongoing, shoppers need every bit of help they can get, so a delay until the end of January or February would be warmly welcomed by all parties.

Charles Kay, UK MD for Netto

l Wells and Young's fully supports The Grocer's campaign to alert the government to the extortionate levels of tax facing the industry. I urge the government to seriously consider, at least, freezing the duty on alcohol.

With rising costs, the beer industry, along with the wines and spirits industries, can no longer be burdened with the alarming levels of tax this government has imposed. If action is not taken, thousands of jobs will be at risk because businesses, from retailers to suppliers, will not be able to cope with any future increase.

Enough is enough.

Nigel McNally, MD of Wells and Young's Brewing Company

l It is clear that when policy decisions are taken on matters such as VAT, no consideration whatsoever is given to either seasonal timing or the administrative burden of changing of retail prices. For instance, to this day, Marks & Spencer has not altered its retailer price tag on goods in store. The VAT reduction to 15% is adjusted on one's overall buy at the counter. If M&S cannot cope, who can?

Francis Chaney, finance director, Lawrence Hunt & Co

l Let's start to show some common sense here and help businesses in the UK.

Kevin Mellor, partner, The Bridge

l Lower interest rates and deferred corporation/income tax payments have really helped SMEs. Don't spoil the good work with this ludicrous deadline.

Eddie O'Kane, partner, O'Kane Irish Foods

l It is essential that these issues are delayed to assist businesses to survive into 2010.

M Palmer, director, Harramelotti Pub Co

l You have to actually be in tune and carry out appropriate measures that make a positive impact. Cut the rhetoric and think the issues through.

Graeme Wilson, MD, Fingerprint Communications

l Delaying the VAT increase until the end of January 2010 would help me. My newsagent had to relocate in October 2008 and I was already struggling with less passing trade.

Jacqueline Cooper, owner, City News, Newcastle

l We need all the encouragement and help that we can get from the Chancellor to rebuild the British economy and this must be done at every level. The Christmas trading period is crucial for our nation, not only financially but emotionally, whether they are shopkeepers, manufacturers or otherwise.

Stephen Waugh, MD, Ardo UK

l This is a bombshell. A common-sense approach is called for. Please delay the VAT change to save us huge inconvenience.

J Sanghera, owner, DS News Stores

l The timing of these changes can only damage small businesses such as mine.

Nigel Shaw, proprietor, Contin Village Stores

l From the point of view of a convenience store operator, new year trading is very busy and it is also a very difficult time to persuade staff to work. In order to do this, it is necessary to pay significant premiums over normal rates for wages. This contrasts with the end of January when trade is slow and there are no staffing issues.

RC Perry, director, Harog