Independent stores were dismayed the Chancellor of the Exchequer's pre-Budget statement made no reference to security tax relief for them. James Lowman, public affairs and communications manager for the Association of Convenience Stores, said it had been calling for the measure for some time: "Crime is the number one concern of our members. The government could help by providing 100% first-year tax relief on security equipment. We will keep pushing the issue." ACS chief executive David Rae also lamented the Chancellor's failure to promise a reduction in tobacco duty to curb tobacco smuggling: "We are disappointed there is still no sign of the government addressing the problem." A spokesman for the Tobacco Alliance added: "We are dismayed the Chancellor still refuses to accept the UK's tobacco taxes are the key driver behind tobacco smuggling." However the ACS praised the Chancellor's pledge to introduce a new tax credit for in-work training. The Society of Independent Brewers welcomed the statement on progressive beer duty. SIBA chairman Paul Davey said it wanted to see normal duty rates halved for brewers producing less than 30,000hl of beer per year. "We are pleased the Chancellor has agreed small brewers are unfairly treated. Hopefully this measure will give smaller players greater access to the market." The British Retail Consortium praised the Chancellor for not dampening consumer spending or restricting the retail sector's contribution to the economy. However, it continued to demand cuts in bureaucracy and the introduction of PayCom regulations governing bank charges for credit and debit cards. {{NEWS }}