// Next boss Lord Wolfson calls for business rates to be slashed to offset losses from store closures
// Wolfson said the level of tax currently being paid by shops is “unfair”
// Rishi Sunak is expected to announce an extension of the rates holiday as part of his budget on March 3
Next chief executive Lord Wolfson has demanded that business rates on high street stores should be reduced by a third to offset any losses from store closures.
Wolfson said the level of tax currently being paid by shops is “unfair” and called for a 50 per cent hike in the business rates bills of warehouses to “fairly reflect the value” of commercial properties.
The proposal comes just as Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced he was set to delay the findings of his “fundamental review” into the tax.
Sunak is due to argue later today that postponing the report until the autumn will allow him to make decisions once the economic uncertainty has eased, according to Financial Times.
The Treasury had promised its “fundamental review” of rates last March.
Meanwhile, Wolfson has dismissed the introduction of an online sales tax, which the government is considering.
He said that this would “put a hole in consumers’ pockets” rather than “get people back” to the high street.
Retailers have been offered business rates relief during the pandemic, which is due to expire on March 31.
Sunak is expected to announce an extension of the rates holiday as part of his budget on March 3.