Grocery chiefs urge Chancellor to use business rates reform to “level up” economy

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Business rates Rishi Sunak covid-19
High street retailers and pubs have been given a 12-month rates holiday to help them survive the Covid-19 pandemic
// Supermarket bosses urge Chancellor to use an overhaul of the business rates system
// Co-op CEO Steve Murrells, Morrisons CEO David Potts, and Tesco UK and Ireland CEO Jason Tarry collectively signed a letter
// Rishi Sunak has said that a consultation on business rates may result in radical reforms

Supermarket executives have reportedly urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to use an overhaul of the business rates system to “level up” the economy as pressure on the handling of Covid-19 mounts in north England.

Co-op chief executive Steve Murrells, Morrisons chief executive David Potts, and Tesco UK and Ireland chief executive Jason Tarry have collectively signed a letter that argues a permanent 20 per cent reduction in business rates would create 10,000 jobs in the retail industry.

The letter, which was sent last week, was also signed by the chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores James Lowman, general secretary of the shopworkers’ union Usdaw Paddy Lillis, and chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association Andrew Goodacre, Sky News reported.


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According to a Whitehall source who has seen the letter, it outlines the overlap between those constituencies with higher business rates and those which do not include investments.

Sunak has said that a consultation on business rates may result in radical reforms, with more of the tax burden falling on digitally generated sales.

Details of future government policy on the tax are expected next year.

High street retailers and pubs have been given a 12-month rates holiday to help them survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, many are still continuing to axe jobs.

The letter wrote that the pandemic has shown “the critical role that shops plays as an anchor for local communities”.

It went on to say that shops and shopworkers have been on the frontline of the pandemic ensuring communities have access to supplies of food, medicines, and essential goods and supporting the economy by investing in operations, keeping hundreds of thousands of people fully employed and supporting a network of thousands of SMEs in the supply chain.

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