Convenience stores are being hit by the cost of the government's Climate Change Levy, according to the Association of Convenience Stores. ACS chief executive David Rae said the levy had cost its members £30m in the past year. "Because most of our staff choose to work below the threshold for National Insurance contributions, we don't feel the benefit of the reduction in employers' NI contributions. But we do feel the impact of the increase in energy costs from the levy. This means a net cost of £646 per year per store." The ACS is urging members to lobby their MPs before the Budget on April 9 and ask for a breakdown of the levy figures, following a similar request to Chancellor Gordon Brown. Rae said: "If the government's own research shows the levy will cost our members, we want the opportunity to claim back net costs at the end of the fiscal year." {{NEWS }}