from Bill Moyes, director general, British Retail Consortium

Sir; At this year’s BRC annual dinner the chief secretary to the Treasury, Paul Boateng MP, defended the Treasury’s proposed reform of Stamp Duty.

We welcome Boateng’s statement that the government is listening to retailers on Stamp Duty. However, the fact remains that the Treasury has not adjusted original Budget proposals at all. The decision not to raise the threshold for exemption on Stamp Duty from £150,000 is terrible news for retailers.

For larger businesses, the reform will mean up to eight-fold increases on their Stamp Duty bill. There is also little comfort for small retailers and start-ups due to the upfront nature of the tax. We are disappointed the Chancellor did not give real assistance to small and medium-sized retailers, setting the threshold at £300,000.

He seems set to hurt the very businesses he needs to encourage to deliver on the urban regeneration agenda.