Retailers clash over 'Tesco tax'

Published:  21 January, 2011

EDINBURGH: Small retailers back the planned Scottish 'Tesco Tax'.

The Federation of Small Businesses backed the move, saying smaller retailers were in decline but the Scottish Retail Consortium attacked plans to impose additional business rates on large retailers, dubbed the 'Tesco tax'

Colin Borland, public affairs chief at the Federation of Small Businesses said the levy was backed by 74% of his members.

"There is a question over whether investment in out-of-town shopping centres is actually good for local small businesses," he said.

"If you level the playing field as much as possible it will be easier for small businesses to do what they're best at - trading us out of this mess."

Scottish ministers argue it is reasonable to ask a small number of the biggest retailers to pay extra, rather than imposing alternatives like raising council tax or cutting business relief.

Ministers said it was fair to ask the biggest retailers to pay more in tough times but the tax plan is expected to be rejected in a vote at Holyrood next week.

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