// The Retail Jobs Alliance urges Conservative and Prime Ministerial contenders Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to address business rates
// Businesses in the UK are facing a 10% increase in rates next spring as inflation is set to climb even higher in the coming months
The Retail Jobs Alliance, which includes many big retailers have called on the Conservative party leader candidates to slash business rates.
The coalition, which consists of Tesco, Co-op, Greggs, Kingfisher, Morrisons, RivingtonHark, Sainsbury’s, and Waterstones, has called on both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to pledge to cut business rates, which it said were “killing our high streets”.
The group said it feared “without urgent action many more shops, restaurants and pubs will struggle to keep their doors open.”
Currently, businesses in the UK are facing a 10% increase in rates next spring as inflation is set to climb even higher in the coming months, as Britain prepares to plunge into a recession
In an open letter to both candidates, the Alliance dubbed the so-called ‘shop tax’ as “a pre-profit tax which inhibits investment and disproportionately impacts those communities most in need of levelling up.”
It said “piecemeal” reform would not be enough, highlighting that property taxes in the UK were “four times higher than Germany and 50% above the G7 average.”
“A permanent reduction in business rates for all retailers, regardless of their size, would make a big difference to retailers’ ability to invest more in shops and stores as well as to create jobs,” the letter added.
High street businesses are coming under pressure as consumers feel the pinch amid the cost of living crisis while companies themselves also face higher energy and operational costs as a result.
“Our high streets and town centres are being hit hard by business rates, and yet neither candidate to be Prime Minister has come up with a serious plan to help,” a spokesperson for the group said.
“Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak need to show they understand what will do most to stimulate investment, support job creation and help levelling up. That means it’s time to cut the Shops Tax.”
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