The Schoolwear Association releases comment ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

On Wednesday, December 3, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, is due to announce his Autumn Statement to Parliament, which will provide an update on the government’s plans for the economy.

Ahead of the statement, Matthew Easter, chair of The Schoolwear Association, which represents hundreds of independent retailers and other suppliers of school uniform, has issued a comment.

He said: “Our members continue to face structural and economic pressures, not least unreasonable competition from a few overly powerful supermarket chains, so we welcome any measures to support small businesses. That includes suggestions that the Chancellor may take action to reduce business rates, which would have the added benefit of helping to revive our town centres by encouraging retailers to expand or set up new outlets.

“Our members work with schools to help the poorest children have proper school uniforms but we would like the Chancellor to make it easier for working parents to afford high quality school uniform too. For years we have lobbied for the exchequer to remove VAT on clothes for teenagers and more recently to introduce tax free school uniform vouchers. We have a government epetition in place that has received over 1,400 signatures.

“It would be a fantastic early Christmas present for hardworking families if the Chancellor were to surprise us and adopt these ideas.”

To sign the epetition, which calls for a scheme to be introduced to help families afford school uniform, visit www.tinyurl.com/schoolwear

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