Jun 8, 2018
Tesco boss blames business rates for retail woes
The boss of Britain's biggest supermarket has blamed the collapse of some retailers partly on the expense of business rates. Retail is the UK's biggest private sector employer, Mr Lewis told the BBC. "Are we allowing it to stay competitive, or are we by stealth lowering corporation tax and increasing business rates to a place which is creating an uneven playing field and forcing people to think about how it is they avoid that cost and find other routes to the market?" he asked. The Tesco boss said business rates was the biggest tax his company paid, adding up to more than £700m a year. He called for "Fundamental reforms" to the "Archaic" business rates system, which ignored the rise of online retailers based in out-of-town warehouses. Marks & Spencer chairman Archie Norman has summed up the challenges to retail in the company's annual report published on Thursday, saying the "Tide is running more strongly against us now than at any previous time".
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