Prime Minister Gordon Brown has had a bad week.
Still facing flak for a u-turn on the 10p tax rate, his £2.7bn tax cut package was overshadowed by rising inflation, the end of the 'nice decade', and housing minister Caroline Flint flashing around briefings about falling house prices.

He was dealt a further blow when Tory leader David Cameron promised tax breaks to help small shop owners compete with major supermarkets, while encouraging communities to set up their own co-operative stores.

With 50,000 c-stores across the country, the move will

undoubtedly tempt some to tick the Conservative box at the next election, especially as the small shops sector is still sore from being let down by the Competition Commission's groceries inquiry.

As Cameron chases the votes of small businesses, perhaps Brown should hatch a plan to secure support from the legions of hard-working staff at Tesco, Asda and co.

If the groceries inquiry was anything to go by, maybe he already has.