The Chancellor of Exchequer has introduced the Autumn Statement in UK Parliament, bringing down corporate tax rate to 21% from its previous 22% rate, effective from April 2014.

The statement also includes increased Annual Investment Allowance to£250,000 from £25,000 for two years to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Autumn Statement that received applauds for its strategy on reducing the deficit, rebalancing the economy and equipping the UK to compete in the global race, has also disappointed retailers as no provisions on business rates were made.

UK trade associations such as British Retail Consortium were seeking a hold on 2.6% increase in business rate due in April 2013 from government.

Commenting on the statement, British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson has said that though stipulations on corporate tax were of international competence, but business rates are of more importance for a property-intensive sector like retail.

"The Chancellor should have removed the threat of a further 2.6%, £175 million increase next April to avoid more empty shops.

"It is still not too late for the Chancellor to announce a freeze for next April," concluded Robertson.

Meanwhile government has halted fuel duty by proroguing the 3.02 pence per litre increase, planned for 1 January 2013, to two-and-half years, besides creating of a £1bn Business Bank to aid smaller businesses in accessing finance and support.