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    Conservatives manifesto: Shopworker Protections, Tobacco and Vapes Bill, Post Office victim redress scheme

    TOWCESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Prime minister Rishi Sunak waves after speaking speaks at the Conservative Party's general election manifesto launch at Silverstone Circuit on June 11, 2024 in Towcester, United Kingdom. Financial security for working people topped the Conservatives' list of pledges, which also includes tax cuts, measures to curb migration and boost the economy. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

    Conservatives will toughen sentences assaults against retail workers and combat the ability of serious organised crime gangs, the party stated in its manifesto released today (11) which also talks about giving high streets a new lease of life and payments for Post Office Horizon scandal victim.

    In reference to convenience retail, the manifesto includes a number of commitments to continue with legislation that was interrupted by the dissolution of Parliament including reintroduction of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill to put in place a generational ban on tobacco along with further restrictions on vaping products, as well as the reintroduction of the measures proposed in the Criminal Justice Bill which include a separate offence for assaulting retail workers.

    The manifesto adds, “We have taken exceptional and unprecedented action, legislating to quash the convictions of those affected by the Post Office Horizon scandal, one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in our nation’s history.

    “We will ensure the new redress scheme is in place and ready to make payments to claimants by the end of July. We are clear that the Post Office should be a valuable social and economic asset for communities and businesses for years to come. That requires a change of culture at the top to deliver the scale of change needed across the organisation.”

    Pledges announced in the Conservative manifesto, as listed by Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), relevant to convenience stores include:

    Employment

    • Fund 100,000 high-quality apprenticeships for young people.
    • Maintain the National Living Wage at two-thirds of median earnings, with current forecasts suggesting it will rise to around £13 per hour by the end of the Parliament. 

    Business Taxation

    • Increasing the business rates multiplier on distribution warehouses that support online shopping over time.
    • Rule out raising the rate of corporation tax and extend “full expensing” to allow businesses to deduct the full cost of certain capital investments from their taxable profits.

    High Streets

    • Provide 105 towns in the UK with a £20 million endowment fund for local people to change their town’s future.
    • Change planning laws to support places to bring back local market days and regenerate defunct shopping centres. 

    Product Regulation

    • Bring forward the Tobacco and Vapes Bill in the first King’s Speech.
    • Legislate to restrict the advertising of products high in fat, salt and sugar.

    Crime

    • Toughen sentences for knife crime, grooming gangs and assaults against retail workers and combat the ability of serious organised crime gangs to use new technology to harm the public.
    • Turn criminals away from the cycle of reoffending, investing in rehabilitative services such as drug treatment, education and employment.

    Throughout the General Election campaign, ACS is encouraging retailers to make the most of the opportunity to invite prospective parliamentary candidates into store to explain the issues that are affecting their business both locally and nationally. 

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