The British Retail Consortium has welcomed the Chancellor's decision in the Budget not to impose a new raft of business costs on the sector.

However, it is disappointed Gordon Brown did nothing to stimulate consumer demand.

BRC director General Bill Moyes said: 'No one should be surprised that the Chancellor has delivered such a neutral Budget. We would like to see the Chancellor do more to stimulate consumer demand, but we are grateful at least that he has not hit the business sector with a raft of new costs.

'Sustained and targeted lobbying by the BRC has resulted in the government listening to our concerns on commercial stamp duty. The changes announced in the Budget mean the level of increase has been minimised, 60 per cent of commercial transactions have been exempted and the introduction has been delayed to give time for further consultation.'