Red tape is slowly throttling the small retail and delivered wholesale sectors in the UK, according to the Wholesale Confectionery and Tobacco Alliance. In a submission to the Small Business Service and the Treasury ahead of this year's budget, the WCTA claims red tape costs its members up to £100,000 a year, with wholesalers forced to pass on additional costs to retail customers or face ruin. The WCTA says costs arising from maternity and paternity rights, London congestion charge, minimum wage rises, the cost of complying with packaging waste regulation, the climate change levy, tax and VAT are placing an intolerable strain on members' time and finances. Sugro md Philip Jenkins said the average wholesaler was already losing £150,000 a year in profits due to the abolition of forestalling, and accused the government of failing to understand the cumulative effect of its legislative changes on the sector. The WCTA said it would keep up pressure on government to install a minister at the DTI to champion the retail and wholesale sector. {{NEWS }}