High Street

Retail Jobs Alliance demands business rates reform

The group, which is calling itself the Retail Jobs Alliance, has written to the chancellor to demand that he ‘cuts the shops tax’

An alliance of retail companies including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Greggs and Waterstones are forging a new coalition to urge Rishi Sunak to move ahead with reforms to Britain’s decades-old business rates regime, according to Sky News.

The group, which is calling itself the Retail Jobs Alliance, has written to the chancellor to demand that he “cuts the shops tax”.

In the letter to Rishi Sunak, the new alliance, which also includes the Co-op Group, Kingfisher, Morrisons and several retail trade bodies, said it was writing on behalf of organisations employing more than one million people – or one-third of the entire industry’s workforce.

It said the Retail Jobs Alliance would be “making the case for an overall cut in business rates for all retail premises, and we are open to the possibility of funding this through the introduction of a new online sales tax”.

In the letter to Sunak, the retailers said: “We are all, like you, acutely concerned with pressures on household budgets and the rising cost of living, and we all have a role to play in keeping costs down as far as we can. Business rates – the Shops Tax – are a significant part of retailers’ overheads.

“A meaningful cut in the Shops Tax would make a big difference to retailers’ ability to invest more in the shops and stores that we know customers value, as well as to create jobs. This would make it easier for everyone in the retail sector to mitigate inflationary pressures, keep existing shops open and open new ones.”

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