Lidl, B&M, Pets at Home the latest to forgo business rates support

Lidl, B&M, Pets at Home the latest to forgo business rates support
A host of major essential retailers, including the UK’s six largest supermarket chains, revealed plans in December to hand back more than £2m in relief for the current financial year.
// Lidl the latest essential retailer to reject the Chancellor’s extended business rates holiday
// Pets at Home and B&M will also reportedly not take the latest rates support offered
// Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi so far say they would not accept the latest rates relief

Lidl is the latest essential retailer to reject the Chancellor’s extended business rates holiday after major supermarket rivals turned down the support last week.

According to the PA news agency, Pets at Home and B&M – also essential retailers – have also said they would not take the latest rates support offered by Rishi Sunak in his Budget last week.

Shortly after Sunak’s Budget speech, five of the UKs largest supermarket chains – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons and Aldi – said they would not accept rates relief.


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However, a week on, a number of other essential retailers have remained silent over whether they would benefit from the government policy.

At the onset of the pandemic, retailers, hospitality and leisure firms were handed a business rates holiday for the year to the end of this month.

In his Budget the Chancellor confirmed plans to extend this support in England for another three months, with retailers who have stores still closed then able to claim a two-thirds discount to their rates bills up to £2 million for the rest of the financial year.

Wales and Scotland made separate announcements, with both extending the business rates holiday for another 12 months.

A host of major essential retailers, including the UK’s six largest supermarket chains, revealed plans in December to hand back more than £2 billion in relief for the current financial year after their sales were boosted by pandemic demand.

Nevertheless, a number of major retailers who traded through the pandemic – including Waitrose, Iceland, Co-op and Wilko – decided not to return the tax relief and are expected to utilise the latest support.

Lidl GB had already agreed to repay its rates relief of around £100 million for 2020-21 but has now confirmed that it would take the same stance regarding the Chancellor’s latest support.

“Lidl GB confirms it will not be claiming the business rates relief for 2021-2022,” a spokesperson for the German discount grocer said.

“We believe it is the right thing to do, and that the business is well placed to manage any further challenges the pandemic may present.”

Pets at Home and B&M both declined to comment.

B&Q parent company Kingfisher was another essential retailer which agreed to repay its tax break for the 2020-21 year, but the company declined to comment regarding whether it would receive the extended relief measure.

Some non-essential retail bosses have also been critical of the Chancellor’s move regarding rates.

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group said last week the new holiday was “near worthless” for larger firms and made it close to impossible for it to take on old Debenhams shops.

The Sports Direct and House of Fraser parent company said that the £2 million cap on the amount of relief a company can claim means it will have to review all its stores to find any that might no longer be viable.

with PA Wires

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