By Mark Davidson
The Local Government and Communities Committee (LGCC) of the Scottish Parliament has today voted in favour of annulling the controversial Large Retailer Levy.
The levy dubbed the ‘Tesco Tax’ would force retail stores with a rateable value of more than £750,000 into paying higher rates of taxation.
Fiona Moriarty, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC), has welcomed the decision, having contested the levy since plans for the scheme were announced earlier this month.
Moriarty commented: “The LGCC should be congratulated on doing such a thorough job of investigating this important issue.”
According to the Scottish Government, the ‘Tesco Tax’ could raise up to £30 million, which would be invested in economic recovery and local services, from which most businesses in the country benefit.
Speaking after today’s meeting with the LGCC, Scottish Finance Secretary John Sweeney said: “The proposal and order will now be subject to consideration by the full Parliament next week, which we welcome.
“We will continue to press the case that those with the broadest shoulders should bear more of the burden in supporting spending for vital services, at a time when Westminster has slashed Scotland’s budget by £1.3 billion and UK GDP has gone into reverse.
“The largest business organisation in Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses, with some 20,000 members, has strongly supported the proposed supplement and expressed disappointment at today’s committee decision.”
However, the SRC maintains that large companies would simply move out of Scotland if the levy was introduced, seriously damaging the economic recovery of the country and forcing thousands of people out of work.